Interview with Photographer Osamu Jinguji

Osamu Jinguji was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1962. The photographer and creator originally worked as an actor and model, but due to bad health, was compelled to retire.  Following many career changes, he settled on photography, which best fit his creative sensibilities. His current career re-started with the publication of his first poetry-photo book in 2009. Since then, he has participated in many group exhibitions and art fairs in New York (SCOPE), Miami (SPECTRUM), Spain (ARTEANDO) and in Germany (BERLINER LISTE). His works, which specialise in black and white on/off street photography, have also been featured in a variety of online art magazines, including The Arte Fotografica (Portugal). In February of 2014, his photographs appeared in the PhotoVogue Collection (a collaboration with VOGUE Italia) at Art +Commerce in New York. We speak to the photographer.

A: What motivates you to take photographs?
OJ: To put it succinctly, my current work is not the result of simply taking photos. It is more like an expression of my passions, memories and ideology. It is to excise a precise cross-section of all times, spaces and emotions flowing in parallel with other worlds on a subconscious level. It is to completely reproduce a part of my intrinsic poetry, as a lost piece of my puzzle, imparting a transmission of my life philosophy. With each photo comes a rebirth of my soul as another piece of myself and a reminder of my memories beyond a time and space, which would otherwise be forever lost in the many stories of my short life and its endless cycles.

Additionally, the subjects of my photographs do not merely suggest that which is visible, but carry aspects of the invisible. This tension between what is seen and what is unseen suggests the infinite that I try to capture with my photography. I interpret human consciousness, the invisible, and the idea of space-time with no boundaries by pouring my interpretation, aesthetics, philosophy and soul into my work, making this a part of my ego, consciousness or memory. So, my current photo art style can be strictly defined as borderless.

I believe that the essence of the arts is also a succession of creation and destruction in this world. At the same time, I make sure that I look for light, beauty and hope in  the darkness and chaos, challenging feelings in myself  like regret or failure. Furthermore, I love a simple life, and find great satisfaction in inspiring others with my work. Everything is in flux and nothing is permanent. No one can stop the flow of time. So, the act of me taking pictures in an instant is a modest resistance of just that.

A: Do you usually have an image in mind, or do your photographs form spontaneously?
OJ: I used to take photos of models, musicians or performers, but now I prefer the street. I don’t know what will happen, whom I will meet, someday or somewhere. So, when I go out for the photo shoot, I try not to have any ideas or purpose. I do things that way, because I get great joy from new discoveries. Previously, I often followed guidelines but now, finally, I’m following my instincts at an unconscious level, especially whenever I must decide the most important things in my life, whenever I select my subjects for taking pictures and whenever I edit the raw images.

A: What interests you about black and white photography?
OJ: All colors belong to black and black and white is near to fiction, but it’s very easy for me to feed the most important essences back accurately to people through the use of this medium.

A: Your work has been showcased in galleries all over the world, do you have any particularly memorable exhibitions?
OJ: My first overseas exhibition at an international contemporary art fair, ARTEANDO 2012 in Spain.


A: Are there any upcoming exhibitions of your work we can look out for?
OJ: I will be taking part in a project for ART Platform NYC entitled VISUAL THOUGHT: Art+Expression 2016. My works will also be exhibited in their booth at Artexpo New York 2016.

Learn more about Osamu Jinguji at

To see his listing in the Artists’ Directory in Issue 68 of Aesthetica Magazine, pick up a copy at

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1. Osamu Jinguji, Time3#003: Giant faces of two men reflected in a window of a building in Roppongi, Tokyo. Courtesy of the artist.
2. Osamu Jinguji, GinzaI25: An illustration painted onto the front side of a building located Ginza, Tokyo. Courtesy of the artist.