Sep 8
Veiled Woman
posted by: Assistant in Japan on 09 8th, 2010 | | 8 Comments »

Opening of Florence’s Nantes exhibition is this Friday!!!

Both Florence and I are very excited.

This is one of the new pictures that will be exhibited there.  Yes, Florence said okay to the sneak preview 😉   I don’t have time to write right now, but will tell you more about this picture at another time.

Aug 9

Here you go, my BIG announcement!

Florence and her pictures will go to Nantes, France!!!

I knew of Nantes for the famous Edict of Nantes and Battle of Nantes from my history class, but didn’t know it is now a city of Art and Culture.  I heard many artists are moving there or want to move there.  For those of us who are not familiar with France, Nantes is only 2 hours from Paris by TGV.

So to make a long story short, this city of Nantes is going to have a big event about Japan from the end of August to the end of October.  The name of the event is “Itinéraires Nantes Japon.”  There will be lots of different shows, movies, lectures, performances, demonstrations, etc.  Also Nantes is a sister city to Niigata (northern very snowy part of Japan), and people from Niigata will participate in the special program.

The city’s official website is here.

You can click on the image below and download the official program (pdf file).

Back to Florence’s exhibition —

As you can see in the program, Florence’s exhibition is listed first 🙂  That’s a good sign, right?  Okay, are you ready?  Her exhibition will be at the main event site, Cosmopolis, and 50 Japan pictures will be shown there.  Yes, you read it right.  Fifty pictures, 5-0!!!  Not only that, some of them will be in large and larger sizes!!!!! (If you are curious about where those 50 pictures will be hung, go click “READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY” below.)

This is certainly the biggest exhibition ever.  And guess what.  Some of the pictures are brand new, fresh from the Japan trip that Florence and I did a few weeks ago!

By the way, I will never ever go back to Japan in the summer time.  It was like being in sauna all day (and night) long.  You would sweat just standing there.  It was even hard to breath at first because of the heavy humid air.  I just admire Florence so much for having carried her camera gears in that condition and actually shot great pictures.  If Florence okays, I’ll post one of the pictures here as a sneak preview before the exhibition.

With a room for 50 pictures, you would think it’s easy to select.  Well, it was not.  There were lots of other pictures that we wanted to show, but we had to drop them from the selection, unfortunately.  Neither Florence nor I like the picture selection process.  We have our favorites, but cannot choose all of them.  So often times we would end up getting into a heated discussion, if you know what I mean…

So here are Florence’s Nantes exhibition details:

Title: Japon – un pays, deux mondes

Date: du vendredi 10 septembre au dimanche 10 octobre

Place: Espace Cosmopolis 18, rue Scribe, 44000 Nantes

Opening: Vendredi 10 septembre 2010 à 18h30 (Inauguration)


Please everyone, come to Florence’s biggest showing ever!!!


Jun 17
Collective Exhibition about Japan No.2
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Latest News on 06 17th, 2010 | | 1 Comment »

Espace Japon 2010

Sorry, I have not been able to update this blog for a long time, but Florence has been really active in her work and got some very exciting news. I’ll catch up soon and let you know about all those excitements, but right now I need to make a quick announement.

Florence’s work on “unusual Japan” will be shown in Paris as a part of collective exhibition. There will be 3 other artists along with her showing Japan from very different perspectives using different approaches.
Here are details of the collective exhibition:

Title: Exposition Collective Autour du Japon – No 2 (Le Japon insolite)

Date: du 16 juin au 7 juillet

Place: Espace Japon 12 rue de Nancy, 75010 Paris

Opening: Vendredi 18 juin 2010 à partir de 18h


So the opening is TODAY and both Florence & I will be there. Please come to say hi to us!

Sep 26
Women in Kimono at Fushimi Inari
posted by: Assistant in Japan on 09 26th, 2009 | | 3 Comments »


Florence is in Paris getting ready for the “Japan – Vivid Colors” exhibition at Espace Japon.  Please come to the opening starting at 18:00 on Tuesday, September 29!

This picture was shot at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan.  One of the photos from Fushimi Inari (not this one) will be exhibited at Espace Japon.  This place is such a photogenic place and many photographers from all over the world are fascinated by it.  One of the famous photographer, Steve  McCurry had a picture of Fushimi Inari at his Visa pour l’image exhibition.

Anyway, here is a behind-the-scene story of Florence’s Fushimi Inari photos as I promised to tell you in this previous entry.

Fushimi Inari Taisha (shrine) is located in the Mount Inari in Kyoto.  Actually this whole mountain (though it’s more like a hill) is considered a holy place.  The orange gates are called torii, and there are currently over 10,000 of them along with the small paths to go and worship small shrines spread over this whole mountain.  The entire path to go up to the top of the mountain and come down is 4 km and takes about 2 hours.  Each torii was built by a donation from a business or an individual.  Japanese letters on each gate represent the name of the business and the year that the donation was made.  Donations are still coming in and new toriis are built every year.  The newer the torii was build, the brighter the orange color is.

Visitors and worshiper often get struck by the first torii tunnel at the bottom of the hill.  This photo was taken in the tunnel at the beginning of 2009 during one of the new year holidays.  Yes, I said new year holidays, and that means A LOT OF PEOPLE everywhere in Japan, especially at shrines and temples!!!

This was not the first time that Florence visited Fushimi Inari Taisha.  She had been there several years ago when she was still using her film camera.  She was fascinated by this place and always wanted to go back there to take more pictures with her digital camera.  When she visited there the first time, it was not during the holiday time and there were not many people.  But this time, things were totally different.  When she saw the large crowd there, she said, “I cannot take pictures like this!”  Then I (Florence’s assistant) said, “What do you mean you cannot take pictures?  We came all the way, and we are NOT going back without any pictures!!!”  So I began going up the hill thinking the higher we climb, the less crowded it would become.  Disappointed and upset Florence followed me unwillingly.  From then on, it was all about waiting game for the both of us.

I was right to some degree.  The higher we went, the less crowded it became. But still, there were people in the small paths constantly going up and down.  Florence waited and waited for this one moment when the stream of people stopped.  I waited and waited for Florence to wait.  We moved forward and stopped, moved forward and stopped, moved forward and stopped…  We did not finish the entire trail because I got so tired, but Florence was able to take some pictures.  In fact, last time she did not go beyond the first torii tunnel.  So this time, she made new discoveries and shot amazing photos including the one used for the cover of the Ombres blanches magazine.

By the way, when Florence took this picture with two women in Kimono, she had to chase them after again!  They were walking fast as you can see in this picture.  Boy, Japanese people walk fast!

Aug 19
Exhibition “Japan – Vivid Colors”
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Latest News on 08 19th, 2009 | | 4 Comments »


Florence is going to PARIS!!!

Another exhibition has been scheduled at Espace Japon in Paris. Here is the detail:

Title: Japon – Couleurs vives

Date: du 29 septembre au 10 octobre

Place: Espace Japon  12 rue de Nancy, 75010 Paris

Opening: Mardi 29 septembre 2009 à partir de 18h


The picture above entitled, “Geisha at a glance” was awarded Honorable Mention from the 2008 International Photography Awards, and will be shown at Espace Japon. There will be of course never-be-seen-before pictures also. So please everyone, especially those who live in Paris or near Paris, come to see the show!

By the way, this photo has an interesting behind-the-scene story.

This picture was taken during one of the new year holidays in Kyoto, Japan. It was right in front of Nanzenji temple. Florence was taking pictures somewhere, and I was just walking around and patiently waiting for her. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this Geisha* woman and possibly her proprietress of the house walked by right in front of me. You know, shooting pictures of Geisha is a photographers’ dream, especially Florence, but she was not with me at that time. They were walking really fast, most probably because they didn’t want to attract all those tourists’ attention. I didn’t have time to go look for Florence. I said to myself, “Too bad, Florence lost a great shutter chance.” Then there she was. Florence came running, chasing after the Geisha!

Go Florence! Go!!!

Florence was running and running after the Geisha woman with her heavy camera in her hands and her camera bag on her back. The Geisha woman was going and going REALLY fast with short steps.

You know, you can’t really walk with long strides when wearing Kimono. You have to walk with tiny steps. Not only that, how in the world could a person walk or run so fast with these sandals on???


These sandals are called Koppori and made of wood. Good ones are hand made like this and really expensive:


Anyway, Florence finally caught up with this Geisha woman when she was about to get in a taxi cab.

Then all the miracles came together:

A BEAUTIFUL GEISHA woman with RED Kimono getting on a GREEN car GLANCED at Florence for one second, and Florence was able to click the shutter at that MOMENT.


* This woman is not really a Geisha. She is a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) to be exact.

Jun 14
Exhibition “Step by Step in Japan”
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Latest News on 06 14th, 2009 | | 2 Comments »


Here we go! A series of exciting news begins with this announcement.

This year’s exhibition #3 will be held at the prestigious bookstore, Ombres Blanches. Florence will exhibit pictures from Japan including some never-seen-before pictures.

Above image is the cover of Ombres Blanches’ free paper (June edition). Yes, Florence’s picture made the cover! The photo was shot at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto. I’ll post another entry some time later about Florence and Fushimi Inari. Click the image above and you’ll see the article about Florence and her exhibition.

Title: Pas à pas au Japon

Date: du 04 juillet au 16 août

Place: Librairie Ombres Blanches  50, rue Gambetta, 31000 Toulouse


Jun 13
Three Frames
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Travel on 06 13th, 2009 | | No Comments »


This picture was one of the most popular pictures of this year’s l’instant Japon. It was taken at Tenryu-ji temple, one of the head temples of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, in Kyoto. It is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The garden at this temple was just spectacular. In autumn when the colors of the leaves change, it shows a stunning view. Unfortunately we couldn’t be there in autumn, but I think Florence somehow captured the view.

By the way, this photo was taken in ONE SHOT. Florence told me some people just did not believe her. They insisted on three images being merged into one, even after Florence explained it was only one image. Believe me, people. I was there. She clicked the shutter just once and the image came out like this. No cut & paste. No multiple exposure. No manipulation!

Florence has received some exciting news, and I can’t wait to share it in here. Stay tuned!

May 9
l’instant Japon 2009
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Latest News on 05 9th, 2009 | | 3 Comments »

Click here to view the full brochure in pdf

l’instant Japon 2009 is around the corner (May 15, 16 & 17), and Florence’s newest pictures of Japan will be exhibited again this year. This year, they are going to feature Florence’s modern architecture photos from Japan as a special exhibition, in addition to her regular exhibition at a booth, which means the excitement is doubled!!!

Most of the pictures exhibited there are not on her website. So be there and be the first one to see Florence’s newest pictures from Japan!

Click here for more detailed information about l’instant Japon 2009.

Tarifs entrée Hôtel DIEU :
Vendredi 15 Mai : Ouverture à 17h30 – entrée libre.
Samedi et Dimanche : 7 € la journée, Enfants : gratuit jusqu’à 12 ans.
PASS week-end : 12 €
Spectacles en soirée : 10 €

Jan 19
Shoe Collection I
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Travel on 01 19th, 2009 | | No Comments »

shoe collection I

Happy New Year!

Florence just came back from another trip to Japan. Why in winter again? Because her guide (I wonder who…) cannot take time off at other times. Anyway, she shot really nice and fun pictures this time again while her guide patiently waited in the cold. It might take some time to put those pictures on her website gallery. In the meantime, you can sneak preview some of them here on this blog.

Here is the first one.

Can you tell where this photo was taken?

In a train!

Jun 14
Crying Tigger
posted by: Assistant in Japan, Travel on 06 14th, 2008 | | No Comments »

Crying Tigger

We ran into a cute Tigger at Osaka Tenmangu Shrine during the new year festival, but neither Florence nor I knew she was crying until we saw this picture later on. In fact, she was a happy Tigger when we first found her. Look!

Happy Tigger

She was eating something and looked happy, but then what happened? What did you do to her, Florence!

Well, I’m sure she got scared when she saw a huge black camera with a big long lens right in front of her face. Or maybe she had never seen a “foreigner” before…

Don’t worry. Her mother was right there with this little Tigger. We asked the mother if it was OK to take a picture of her cute girl. The mother said, “Please.” She even made this little one say “arigato” (thank you) to Florence.

Thank you, cute little Tigger girl (and sorry if we scared you)!

Other Japan pictures will be on Florence’s main website soon. It’s been taking longer than we expected, but I’ve been working really hard. Please be patient and stay tuned!

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