Aizawa Yoshikazu is a Tokyo based Japanese photographer who speaks only Japanese. His work however, speaks for him in a universal language, as universal as his themes. Animals, plants, women weave his cosmos and help him explore and capture the essence of life as he sees it through his lens.
Where do you get ideas and inspiration from?
I don’t really come up with a concept or prepare any ideas. When a woman moves and behaves freely in front of me, that’s when I get inspired. Therefore, I always make sure to relax her in order to bring out various facial expressions and movements when I talk to her. Other than that, I get inspirations from life cycles of plants or behaviors of animals.
What does nudity mean in your work?
What’s underlying my nudity work is my instinctive desire. I intuitively photograph certain gestures and body parts on a woman that attract me animally. However, if she trusts me and believes in me completely, it doesn’t matter if she’s dressed or not. It’s much harder to make her mind “nude” rather than making her physically naked.
Which other photographers do you admire and why?
I’ve been attracted to Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama’s work. There are too many reasons to list up here. Araki is full of vitality and constantly shoots energetically. And he overlooks the world with lots of love just like God. Moriyama creates his photography work like he doesn’t go against what’s happening in the world, he captures things while he goes with the flow. And I find it beautiful. My favorite foreign photographer is Richard Kern. He started following me on Instagram and it gave me lots of confidence.
You often use flowers and snakes in your photos. What do they symbolize for you?
I’m not only attracted to flowers and snakes but also animals and plants in general. They are simple, strong, yet short lived, and that’s extremely fascinating to me. They adapt to any environment in order to survive and leave offspring, and that inspires me. Many people see sexual symbols on my photos with flowers or snakes but my entire work symbolize “life” including sexuality.
What kind of camera do you prefer using?
I’m not particularly picky about what camera to use. I own many different kinds of cameras in digital and film. When I photograph a woman, I use several cameras depending how I feel. Some of my favorite cameras are Contax G2 & T3, Fuji film x100t and Instax Wide. They are easy to use and not so intimidating for models. And they are compact and that really fits my shooting style. I’m thinking of getting a Sony RX1 at the moment.
What is your dream project you would like to work on in the future?
I don’t really think of what I’ll be doing in the future. It’ll be fantastic if I can share my work with people all over the world on a photo book, exhibition or online, though. I only speak Japanese but I’d love to photograph women who are not native Japanese speakers. To tell the truth, my dream is to be surrounded by lots of women when I die!