Tatsuo Suzuki

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Tatsuo Suzuki (born 1965) is a Japanese street photographer, living and working in Ota, Tokyo. Using long exposures and intense contrasts to capture the frenetic atmosphere of the Tokyo streets, Suzuki’s work is a prescient homage to our ever-changing urban behaviours.

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Early Life

Born in 1965, Suzuki came to photography later than most. Having had a successful career in business, he started photographing the streets of Tokyo in 2008. Although largely self-taught, in 2014 Suzuki studied for a year at Resist Photo School, Tokyo. His work was first exhibited in Kanagawa, Japan.

Photographic Technique

Suzuki uses long exposures and intense contrasts to capture the frenetic atmosphere of the Tokyo streets. He works mainly in black and white, considering it to be “more emotional and more aggressive” than colour. With reference to the sharp tonal and composition contrasts of William Klein and Robert Frank, Suzuki creates a street theatre brimming with diversity and eccentricity. Working in relation to the tradition of Japanese street photography made famous by Daido Moriyama, Suzuki captures the spirit of the Japanese metropolis with courageous candour whilst maintaining a perceptive empathy.

Also a punk rock guitarist, Suzuki’s images buzz with the hectic energy of the city streets. Taking up the gauntlet laid down by the greats of twentieth-century street photography, Suzuki photographs with an urgency and dynamism that allows him to produce rambunctious street scenes interlaced with thoughtful character studies. Using his camera, he slices through a scene, employing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s maxim of “the decisive moment”. “Hesitation”, he has said, “is the enemy of street photography”.

Exhibitions and Awards

Since 2008 Suzuki has won a host of awards for his photographs and in 2015 a solo exhibition of his work was held at the second edition of Photo Shanghai.

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Notes

Tatsuo Suzuki, Street Photographer