Drawing feeling into photography and the space between reality and illusion.


Drawing feeling into photography and the space between reality and illusion.

Born in 1991, Takako Noel creates with a passion that extends beyond photography. She styles her subjects and shoots them, capturing their deepest emotions. After processing the photos, she enhances them with acrylic paints and paper cutouts.

“It’s through photography that I bring my imagination to the real world. Recently, I’ve also experimented with painting and projection art. I really want to explore new avenues of creativity. I don’t want to be a slave to the camera.”

Her most recent exhibit, Hole of Nowhere, offers a glimpse into her mind. “What happens if you fall down a hole in a dream?” This is the concept she used to express a hypnogogic world where fireworks flow, the skies are transparent, and the models radiate boundless energy and fragility.

At the London College of Fashion, Noel studied photography, styling, and interior design. It was this background combined with her electives in magazine editing that led to her current work. She’s had many influences, but she credits Ryan McGinley’s early works specifically. It was her experience creating photograph albums that turned her interest to magazines and their production. Noel’s first album was limited to fifty copies printed from a printer. However, since her freelance debut, she’s been shooting with film. She says, “I enjoy the excitement before the final product is developed because I can’t check my work immediately. I don’t want to depict my subjects like dolls.” She’s pleased with the fun coincidences that accompany analog photography.

“With a digital camera, there’s a desire to check the monitor. This hinders concentration and makes me want to retake everything. When this happens, the photographer loses touch with their subjects’ living qualities—body temperature and breathing.”

Her album Riding Nowhere manifests this sentiment. Noel comes to life with a compact camera and a model in the forest at night—or in the early hours of morning—when the light engenders illusions among the trees. When the model isn’t conscious of the camera, they don’t pose, and their expressions and gestures grow free and natural.

Takako Noel’s Omotesando exhibit will continue until January 18, 2018. “I want to show people an otherworldly mysterious place to lose themselves in,” she says. Take some time to visit it and plunge into the extraordinary.

Words: Ryoko Kuraishi

Takako Noel, Visual Artist
Born in Tokyo in 1991. During her time at Sophia University, she studied abroad at London College of Fashion where she focused on magazine and photography as well as editing and styling. After returning to Japan, she published her photo album, Riding Nowhere and began working as a visual artist. Her exhibition at Gallery ROCKET will continue until January 18th.
© Chikashi Kasai
From last year’s release, Riding Nowhere. The movements of her models and the morning sunlight are cinematic.
To express her subjects energy and power, Noel scans the photographs that she has painted in acrylic.


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