Japanese photographer Takeshi Suga shoots his first music video, for SHOKO

We’ve always loved Takeshi Suga’s photography for its whimsical and dream-like flair, but now this talented photographer has taken on a whole new venture. Takeshi has been collaborating with Japanese artist SHOKO and has filmed her music video, ‘London Belongs To Me’ all on an iPhone in his signature style.

We caught up with Takeshi Suga to ask him all about working on his first music video and what the future holds for him.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
‘I’m a photographer currently based in Tokyo. I moved back from London a few months ago where I lived and worked over the last couple years. I wanted to be a film director when I was in my early 20s. Not exactly knowing what to do with that ambition, I started to wander around with a still camera instead. I love literature too, but as it turned out, I’m more of a visual person and am fond of solitude… so I guess photography suits me.

‘LSD in photographic form’ is how my work has been described. Through photography, I want to deal with the state of ambiguity that lies beneath the feelings and emotions such as nostalgia, sentimentality, euphoria, and loneliness’.

Your first music video was just released. How did you end up working with SHOKO?
‘SHOKO is a fellow Japanese artist who divides her time between London and Tokyo. She has collaborated with international fashion labels such as agnes b and meli melo while her illustrations are regularly published in ELLE and NYLON among many others. We had a mutual friend who is a stylist. She recommended my work to SHOKO as she was looking for someone to shoot a video in London as well as stills to promote her major debut album. SHOKO liked what she saw and invited me on board’.

What was the inspiration behind the video? Did you and SHOKO come up with the vision together?
‘Apart from styling, I was in charge of the vision, mostly. We both admire the French New Wave directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Jacques Demy. The song is about the charm of London but we wanted to throw in a bit of French New Wave spirit and aesthetics to create something different and unique.

‘The video was shot entirely with an iPhone using an app called 8mm. It kept us free from using any additional equipment, which saved us a lot of time. We only had half a day but wanted to do a few different locations. We thought those French New Wave directors would be shooting with an iPhone too if they were starting out in 2015!’

Now that you’ve created your first music video, do you think you’ll start producing more of them?
‘The experience of making my first music video definitely ignited my passion for moving image. I would like to direct at least three music videos next year. I’m in the process of finding musicians whose vision would resonate well with mine, so we can create a beautiful video together.

What are you working on now and what else can we expect from you in the future?
‘Right now I’m putting the finishing touches to the album artwork for a US-based post-rock duo. It contains some new images I took in Czech Republic this summer as well as some existing ones. I had my work featured on an album cover before but this is the first time I’m responsible for imagining the whole package. I think next year will see me doing more album artworks and videos. Music is my biggest source of inspiration. I can’t help myself getting into it’.

Catch more of Takeshi Suga’s work here and be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration.


About the author

Rachel Oakley is an Aussie writer based in NYC with an obsession for the creepy, cool and quirky side of life. She’ll remind you she’s a vegan every chance she gets. Her IG is filled with doggo pics: @patty_pottymouth