I finally got a hold of Ume Kayo's book Ume-me Today's Happening. This small book consists for 120 pages filled with a few art work and most of all her wonderful pictures. This particular photo book was published in 2006 and has broke through 110,000 sales. This book also has won Ihei Kumura Photography Award, which is one of the most authoritative new face award for photography in Japan, in 2006.
It was a lot of fun looking at Ume Kayo's images since most of them have humorous images of the mundane and ordinary. It was like I was looking through her eyes and being shown what I might have missed if I was not paying attention in the streets of Japan.
I know that Japan might be known as really formal and business like but her pictures really breaks through that formality and shows you another world filled with color, interesting moments and witty humor. There are no models posing, lighting setup, Ume Kayo just uses what she sees in the moment to connect to her viewers. She photographs with her Canon EOS 5 and you can sometimes see the date of when the picture was taken in the photo book giving it a personal touch into her world.
I really recommend this book to anyone because of the humor it brings and also the fresh concept of not taking photography too seriously.
Well, when I was in college, I was deciding a theme for my photo series, and I’d always thought the neighborhood elementary school boys were so cool, I still think so now. The boys were so outrageous because I couldn’t understand what they were saying. And how they moved around! And they were really stupid, so stupid that I thought they were invincible. You know, I admire invincible people and I thought those kids were really invincible, and I wished I could be like them. That’s why I had chosen them for my subject.”
- Ume Kayo
Photo Credit: Ume Kayo
Here is also an interview from Time Out Tokyo:
Link: Ume Kayo Interview