Psychedelic Tokyo Captured by Photographer Jean-Vincent Simonet

The Swiss photographer has developed a photographic technique for capturing the psychedelic atmosphere of the Japanese capital.

12.03.2019

©Jean-Vincent Simonet

From lit-up signs to smartphones belonging to passers-by and billboards, Tokyo by night is in a continual state of luminous flux. In perpetual motion, the lights never go out, not even for a moment. It is this living and breathing energy that fuels the work of photographer Jean-Vincent Simonet. One question guides his project In Bloom: how can this movement be captured in images without automatically losing the interest it holds?

Almost ‘liquid’ images

 

During his first trip to Tokyo, Simonet felt dissatisfied with the photographs he took of landscapes and ended up returning with distorted, almost ‘liquid’ images. To achieve this effect, he printed his images on paper covered with plastic film so that the ink would not fully permeate and dry. After a few days, he immersed the images in a mixture of water and chemicals to ‘dilute the ink again and enhance certain colours’, according to the British Journal of Photography. On a second trip in 2017, he perfected his technique on the streets of Tokyo.

The name of the project ‘in bloom’ is at once a reference to Tokyo’s state of perpetual rebirth, a nod to the Japanese people’s respect for nature and a tribute to the many floral compositions that adorn storefronts in the capital. The photographer’s work can be found in a 132-page book, available from Self Publish, Be Happy.

 

In Bloom (2018) by Jean-Vincent Simonet, published by Self Publish, Be Happy.

©Jean-Vincent Simonet

©Jean-Vincent Simonet

©Jean-Vincent Simonet

©Jean-Vincent Simonet

©Jean-Vincent Simonet