Attentive Walkers

Project Statement

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In May 2018, I arrived in Japan with the idea of portraying the nuisance of the crowds. I thought about people living in tiny spaces in overcrowded cities. I traveled by train through many cities where thousand of individual itineraries were intertwined. In this country, silence touches you and respect and tolerance for the others move you deeply. As the days went by, I started to feel a kind of overwhelming urban solitude. I discovered that the crowds did not disturb you. People walked with a distant look and,  at the same time,  they paid attention to their personal universe. I also wanted to describe in my series what I was observing: the constant passage between modernity and the deeply rooted traditions of the Japanese culture.
As Quentin Bajac says about a conversation he had with Paul Graham where he told him that when an idea is found, you open the door, go out to the streets and the world changes radically that idea. Photography is to accept and change the expectations to make room for what I observe and be able to evolve with it. What I produce at the end is sometimes very different from that initial project. It is to accept that I will be seduced by the world that I am  going to discover.


During a month, I carefully observed what it was being offered to me. I fell in love with this country and its people. Many times, I sat down and waited, either at a temple or a market, in the streets or at a bar. I felt an incredible sense of tranquility and I also observed that certain tension was noticeable in each scene. I tried to be as distant as possible from it because I did not want to invade that privacy that deserves so much respect.