France-Japan projects

Maki | Love Hotels & Clubs

In two words...
In Tokyo, in the Kabukicho district, a whole concentration of Love Hotels and Clubs of all kinds have been built for fifty years. Maki, photographer, having published several works on Japan, wanted to immortalize in his own way, from the point of view of the street, these heterogeneous places which have always attracted him and which have been part of his daily life for many years when he resides in Japan.

The artist seeks...

Editing : A publisher who could publish this project in the form of 2 books in panoramic format combined in a slipcase.

Writers and art critics knowledgeable about Japanese culture, the Kabukicho district and Japanese photography to write texts on this work and on this subject, and integrate them into the books.

Exhibitions : In France and elsewhere.

Presentation of the series

Love Hotels & Clubs, Tokyo, Japan

Since 2001, I regularly photograph Japan in silver and black and white. This new photographic book project, unique both in terms of form (photographic process) and substance (the exterior of the Loves Hotels), is centered on the Kabukicho district in Tokyo, on the particular architecture of its Love Hotels and Clubs which are legion in this part of the city… In the 60s, this district, located to the east of the Shinjuku district, was filled with underground cinemas, experimental theatres, strip clubs, but also traffic of all kinds, a modern jungle, a place of all possibilities... Today the place is still prized for its unbridled nightlife but also for its large concentration of Love Hotels (themed hotels, with fantastic decorations and architectures, intended couples, legitimate or not, where you go for a few hours or for a night…) and Clubs for adults of both sexes… When I stay in Tokyo, I invariably stay in Kabukicho. This has always been my first vision when I leave my accommodation. These old Love Hotels with themes as surprising as they are different, as well as the clubs that keep them company all around, have always fascinated me. One of the particularities of these themed hotels is to display on their facade an architecture of a great diversity of styles and a surprising creativity, from the 70s to the present day, the architectural style sometimes "kitsch" but always very neat, even sought after (compared to "Business Hotels") challenges and places the walker in a unique atmosphere... Regularly living in the district, they have become my daily life in Tokyo and it seemed quite natural to me to start immortalizing them there. years ago, in my way...

Loving to experiment, I decided in 2016 to continue this work by photographing them by day, from the street, when the neighborhood is calm like a passer-by at the mercy of many wanderings, but with a plastic panoramic film camera which has the particularities of have a very wide-angle lens (condition - sine qua non - to be able to photograph these facades) and whose exposed image encompasses the entire negative, including the holes located on the edges of the film... The result resonates with an original photographic vision and singular, the common thread of all my publications, escaping the documentary genre that such a subject could have taken to make it a personal and experimental artistic work.



French photographer born in Marseilles in 1964, Maki chose, in the early 80s, black and white photography to express his curiosity, his vision of the world, his disappointments, his fears, his attraction to Japan, his obsessions, his discoveries. , his doubts, his questions, his experiences, his explorations, his desires, the memory of time, places, and people… Craftsman first and foremost, he has always developed his films, printed his images on silver paper and edited himself. even his photo series. He photographs ways of seeing and creates random visions of the world around him. He dazzles himself with the light and tries to defy the law of common sense while seeking what "photographing" could mean...

Photographer - but also publisher, composer, DJ, producer and radio director - Maki was one of the founding members of the collective of European photographers "SMOKE" (2007 - 2012) with which he exhibited in festivals and galleries (Musée d'Art Modern and Contemporary of Liège, Center Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris, festival off of the Rencontres d'Arles…) and published a review of the same name.

For 20 years he has been going regularly to Japan to continue his "unlimited photographic work in progress" on this country which he knows well, and in which he has exhibited his photos regularly for several years. He has published several photo books resulting from his travels in Japan (“Gûyu - Allegory” at Timeshow Press, “Japan Somewhere” at Zen Foto Gallery in Tokyo…).

As a publisher, in 2010 he founded the “Immediate Media” collection with which he published 11 mini books with international photographers (Onaka Koji, Ed Templeton, Morten Andersen, Ichiba Daisuke, etc.).

He has exhibited his photographic work in Europe and Japan and has been published in various international catalogues, magazines and webzines as well as in the book “Mono Vol.1” (Gomma Books / London).

Contact Maki


If you want to know more about Maki, here is his latest book: Japan Somewhere published by Zen Foto Gallery


Available for sale : Plac’Art Photo, Gallery Echo119Artibooks, Ibasho, shashasha

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