Based in Tokyo with his young family, talented photographer Nico Perez creates beautiful, dreamy images that make you nostalgic for events you weren’t part of. Think of the slow shots of Kirsten Dunst and her mane of hair in The Virgin Suicides and the sumptuous colours created when light refracts. His portraits of people and settings are entrancing and look like the hallucinatory gaze of someone who’s just fallen in love. He is the man whose photos you want to be in and he has captured his life in Japan in mesmerising fashion.
In his own words;
‘I was born in Spain and raised pretty much in London from 8 years old making visits back to Spain every year for about 2-3 months. When I reached 18, photography came into my life because I felt lost and a little bit different. I had a lot of emotion and I wanted to find a way to put that emotion somewhere.
I got my first camera at twenty years old I think, but it was when I picked up a book by the photographer Rinko Kawauchi that I was hit with the certainty that I could express myself through photos. It changed my life. That, as well as seeing the film collaborations of Wong Kar Wai and Christopher Doyle. Seeing those films was just as important as the book I picked up by Rinko, it was the first time I cried just from feeling the beauty of something, crying not for sadness but for happiness. It was brilliant and I fell in love with the moving camera & the still camera.
On a brief visit to Tokyo once on a break from university, I had felt that Tokyo looked blue to me. I felt connected to it and yet so dislocated from it, so lonely but inspired by the loneliness. I guess I felt blue myself.
At this point in my career all I feel and can say is that I do everything almost from instinct and through feeling and emotion, I’ve just been following light and energy that I’m attracted to. I am on a journey, a journey that I will constantly be on and a student of the light before my eyes.
I recently had a solo exhibition in Tokyo, ‘Momentary’, in AL gallery in Ebisu. It was a show that coincided with the release of my first photo book, also called ‘Momentary. The book is a personal photo book, capturing moments in time. The exhibition had stills from the book as well as other photos which I felt were part of the same body of work, these moments, moments I saw, moments I experienced, moments that have passed.
IDEA books wrote a good description of the book which I liked –
The self-published debut book from Tokyo-based photographer Nico Perez, ‘Momentary’ is filled with images showing moments in time, which he seeks to portray in a poetic way so as to reflect how emotions, people, surroundings, and life in general are all momentary. From intimate family portraits and interactions, to tranquil natural and urban scenes, his images are soft, hazy, and dreamlike. Originally from Spain, Perez moved to Japan in 2009 and now works as a freelance photographer, drawing inspiration from colours and the delicate qualities of light, and capturing how these can influence one’s mood.
This photobook came about because I just really wanted to get my vision out on paper and into my own book. I designed and published it my self. I also have a Japanese distributor for it and you can buy it on my home page HERE. It’s also available in dozens of shops in Japan and is also in The Photographers Gallery in Soho, London, also on IDEA books. Soon it will also be in Foyles & Tinpin books in London.
At the moment I’m keen to work for clients here in Tokyo and base myself in London from next June for a little while. I plan to do a small exhibition next year in Tokyo and then do the same exhibition in London when I fly over there.’