Sep 12
Nantes Opening
posted by: Assistant in Latest News on 09 12th, 2010 | | 3 Comments »

Opening for Florence’s Nantes exhibition along with two other exhibitions has just been held this Friday evening at Cosmopolis.  And Florence’s exhibition made it to the next day’s newspaper, Presse Océan. Yeah!

Florence is talking to the Mayor of Nantes, Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault.  And next to the Mayor is Mr. Korehito Masuda from Japan Embassy to France.

Look at this crowd!  I would say several hundreds people came.  Then the next day, Saturday alone, there were over 150 visitors for the exhibitions.  Wow!!!

I wish I understood French because people were making lots of comments while going through each one of her pictures and I would have liked to eavesdrop those comments 😉

Well, there are many “stories” about this Nantes exhibition (as always), but for now I wanted to quickly report the huge crowd that Florence had at the opening.  I’ll write about those stories later.  All I can say for right now is that I’ve been in Nantes for 4 days and today (the 4th day) was the first day that I did not sweat…

Stay tuned for more stories!

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!

Nov 1
fnac exhibition II
posted by: Assistant in Abstract, Latest News on 11 1st, 2009 | | No Comments »

pink flower

Did you go to Florence’s “Jeux déau” exhibition in Perpignan or Espira de l’Agly?  If not, here is your chance.  Florence’s Visa Off 2009 winning photos will be exhibited at the fnac (Toulouse -Wilson) store!

Title:  Jeux d’eau

Date:  Du mardi 3 novembre au samedi 21 novembre 2009

Place:  Fnac Toulouse-Wilson (au forum) 16 all F Roosevelt 31000 Toulouse

Web:  Fnac Magasins

Oct 18
Two Exhibitions in One
posted by: Assistant in China, Latest News on 10 18th, 2009 | | No Comments »


I’m late!  I’m late!!!

Two exhibitions, “Water Works” and “Colors of China”  are now open at the city hall in Espira de l’Agly.  It’s a village nearby Perpignan.  Please join Florence at the opening on October 23rd!

Exhibitions:  1) Jeux d’eau   2) le Yunnan “Couleurs de Chine”

Date:  du 16 au 31 octobre

Place:  Mairie Espira de l’Agly  27 Rue du Septembre, 66600 Espira de l’Agly

Opening:  Vendredi 23 octobre à partir de 18h30

The photo above entitled “Perfectionism” is in the “Colors of China” exhibition.   It was a window that Florence found in Yunnan prefecture.  What a meticulous work and striking colors!

Oct 17
Success in Paris
posted by: Assistant in Latest News on 10 17th, 2009 | | No Comments »

Florence’s first exhibition in Paris at Espace Japon ended with success.  She exhibited 30 colorful pictures from Japan.  Look at all these people at the opening!  These pictures were shot by Monsieur Bernard Béraud (founder of Espace Japon).  Florence met many people there and talked, talked, talked, and talked.  I don’t know how she does it.  Talking, talking, talking, forever!  And she says she doesn’t like to talk.  You’re right…

Thank you, everybody who came to this exhibition!!!  Thanks Elodie with Espace Japon for your big help!

espace japon expo 1Espace Japon Expo 2

Sep 11
Visa Off Exhibition
posted by: Assistant in Abstract on 09 11th, 2009 | | 4 Comments »

Perpignan- le Castillet

So here we are! Let’s go back to the beginning of our trip to Perpignan and show you all about Florence’s Visa Off exhibition. This is le Castillet with Catalonia flag and Visa pour l’Image flag on top of it. We passed by this wall numerous times while we were there.


This is where Florence’s exhibition was held – Bébé en Bulle. It’s a bookstore specialized in cartoons. The first thing we had to do was to hang the pictures.Well, actually no. The first first thing we had to do was to get there. Thanks to Florence’s friend, Christophe, he drove Florence’s car, drove through a maze of streets, and got us right in front of the store. We met the person who was working there and later the owner of the store. Both of them were really nice and accommodating.

We immediately started hanging the pictures, but there was a problem 🙁  The hooks that the store had for hanging the pictures did not fit to the hooks at the back of the frames! Ahhhhh!!! Florence had to hang all the pictures before the end of that day, or she would have been disqualified from the competition. We didn’t have a lot of time. We quickly came up with a solution which was to use strings, good idea, but where could we get the strings??? Thanks to Christophe again. He took me to a craft store nearby, and we found good strings. But this quick fix made the hanging work really difficult. When we finally finished hanging all the pictures, we were all exhausted. Quelle histoire! (What a story!) The photo above was taken at a later date. If it were on the first day, Florence wouldn’t have been smiling…


This is the headquarters of the Visa Off festival, the Perpignan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The first official event that Florence had to attend was the press conference there.


Press conference. The mayor of the city of Perpignan was there along with the president of the Visa Off festival and other festival officials. They said (according to Florence) there were going to be over 1,000 photographers from all over the world between the two Festivals (Visa pour l’Image & Visa Off) coming to visit Perpignan during the two weeks. They also said that they had to make a drastic selection this year for Visa Off.

Florence was a little intimidated at this point because it appeared that everybody who came to the press conference knew each other and she was the only stranger. But Jean-Louis and Delphine from CCI made her feel really welcomed.


Voilà! This was how Florence’s exhibition looked at the bookstore. We loved the brick wall, though we expected a white wall because we were told so. The wall was perfect for Florence’s photos.


Some more pictures. Florence was really appreciative of the fact that her exhibition was selected to be held at this bookstore. Other exhibitions were held at restaurants, bars, banks, clothing stores, markets, hair salons, meat shops, etc. At this bookstore, people would feel comfortable going in and looking at the pictures at any time and there was nothing interrupting the view.

By the way, we learned later on that unlikely to other events in which organizers would have to ask stores for participation, with Visa Off, the stores had to apply to participate and not all stores applied were selected for exhibitions. In addition, exhibitions were assigned by the Visa Off and stores did not get to choose which exhibition to hold at their store.


This is the description of Florence’s exhibition, “jeux d’eau”. This was another story. As you can see in the above pictures, Florence did not have this description originally.  She had the printout of the description, but we were not prepared to put it like this because we didn’t know the settings of the place, what was provided and not provided from the Visa Off office, nor how other photographers generally do with their captions or descriptions.  After we looked around others’ exhibitions, we realized many had this kind of description about their exhibitions neatly framed and put alongside of their photos. So we came up with a quick solution again, ran to an art store, got some materials, and voilá! Whew… Quelle histoire! (This was one of the first French words that I learned because I had to say so many times during this trip.)


This was part of another official event that Florence had to attend. It was the opening of the Visa Off festival. As part of the opening, everybody together (staffs, photographers, press/media, and the public) did go-around of the exhibitions all over the town. Not all exhibitions were visited at this time, but it took over 3 hours to finish this tour of exhibitions! In this picture, Florence was explaining about her photos to the Visa Off officials and others. Do you see the description neatly pasted on the brick wall now? 😉


Here is another picture of the go-around. According to Florence, many people thought she manipulated the pictures with Photoshop to get the effects. So she had to explain that the colors were natural colors. I hope she didn’t disclose her “business secrets” 😉


Another official event was the opening of her exhibition. Actually her opening was held together with other exhibition openings on the same street. So the nearby café Elféa provided drinks and appetizers for all the guests. Lots of people came to this whole street opening and Christophe brought many people to see Florence’s pictures. I think he is now promoted (?) to Chief Marketing Officer of Florence’s photography 😉

By the way, Florence was very moved by a woman who came to her opening. She had a serious illness, but despite of her illness, this person came to see her pictures. I hope Florence’s photos gave her energy to fight the illness and hope because I believe that’s what her pictures do.

Sep 9
Florence won the prize!
posted by: Assistant in Latest News on 09 9th, 2009 | | 6 Comments »


YES, SHE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Florence’s “Water Works” selection has won the Free Theme category Prize in the 2009 Visa Off photo festival in Perpignan.

The picture was shot (by me) at the award ceremony which was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Perpignan in the early evening of September 3.  The room did not have an air conditioning, and with all the photographers, press/media, festival staffs, and publics gathered, the room was steamy hot.  I had no idea what was happening on the stage because I do not understand French. All of a sudden, I heard Florence’s name.  I looked at Florence, but her whole body was completely frozen and she looked dead serious.  A few seconds later, I heard her name, again.  Florence’s face lit up, and everybody clapped their hands.  Then I finally realized she had gotten the prize.  We didn’t even know Florence was among the three nominees for the prize!  She went up to the stage and was given the prize.  She told me later that she was so nervous throughout this ceremony to the point she thought she was going to faint. I guess this picture shows her nervousness in her unusual smile.  The man with a microphone is monsieur Maurice Halimi, assistant of the mayor with the culture of the town of Perpignan.  Again I didn’t understand a word of what he was saying, but according to Florence he spoke really nice things about Florence and her work.


After monsieur Halimi’s speech, Florence was asked to give a short speech.  Oh, NO!  This prize was much to her surprise, and so she was not prepared at all to give a speech.  But somehow she pulled it off.  I don’t know exactly what she said, but according to Florence, she thanked all the staffs of the Festival Off and the town of Perpignan for their hospitality and kindness.  To your right hand of the picture, the woman standing with the Visa Off t-shirt on is madame Jacqueline Guenoun, Secretary of the Festival. Florence met her at the opening.  She was running around organizing everything, but very kindly took time to talk to Florence.


Here is a photo with all other winners and nominees.  Finally Florence has a smile on her face.  But do you know what she did at first?  Florence was holding her certificate backwards! Several press people were trying to take pictures but they couldn’t because Florence was not holding the certificate right. And do you know what she said to me later?  “Because I didn’t want to show off.”  Oh, Florence, Florence…

So in this picture, from your left, monsieur Didier Hoiry, President of the Visa Off.  Next to the president is madame Bettina David Fauchier, another nominee for the Free Theme Prize.  Florence and I loved her pictures!  And the man in red shirt is the winner of the Collective Prize and the tall man on your right is the Photo Reportage Amateur Prize winner.


Here is Florence with her supporters after the award ceremony.  To your left, Audrey from RFM radio.  We met her at the opening of the Festival.  Since then she has been promoted(?) to Florence’s Perpignan local assistant.  She doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak French, but somehow Audrey and I decided that we were going to make a revolution soon because we are exploited!  Well… not exactly, but you know… we are volunteers, so… Watch out, Florence! 😉   Next to Audrey is Christophe who is a good friend of Florence and happened to live in Perpignan.  He is such a fashionable guy as you can see in this picture and very nice.  Without him, Florence wouln’t have been able to participate in the festival.  Actually, we wouldn’t have even made it to our hotel in Perpignan. Perpignan is a small city, but the roads there are unbelievability confusing (and so narrow).  Florence who is new to this town didn’t know where to go, and I couldn’t even read some of the road signs or the map because they are in French!  Christophe drove us to our hotel, took us around the city, showed us good restaurants to eat, etc.  He even helped Florence hang her pictures for her exhibition.  This was another story which I’ll tell you about later.  The cool thing about Christophe is that he said he “knew” Florence was going to win the prize (and that’s why he came to the ceremony).  He certainly has eyes for true art! And finally next to Florence is… a ghost. Well, let’s keep it that way 😉


Finally, today September 9, in a few hours, they are going to do screenings of the photos on this gigantic screen at the Republic Square in Perpignan.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see Florene’s photo on this screen because I had already left France, but Florence will be there with her supporters.

Florence and I had a wonderful time in Perpignan.  As Florence said on the stage, the festival staffs were very welcoming and kind.  This photo festival is one of the biggest events that I have ever been to.  Between the Visa pour l’Image and the Festival Off, the entire city of Perpignan is involved in these events for two weeks.  I can only imagine how much work it requires, especially for the staff members.  Other than the people I mentioned above, Delphine and Jean-Louis from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry were very nice and helpful as well.

Florence and I were also impressed with the fact that the judges of the Festival Off actually went all over the city and evaluated all the exhibitions (69 of them!) with their eyes.  I thought they had already decided on the prizes based on the digital images and prints that participants submitted when they applied, but apparently that was not the case.

I will write more about Florence’s Visa Off exhibition and other stuffs, but for now,

Thank you, everyone!  Thank you, Visa Off!  Thank you, Perpignan!

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.

Aug 3
posted by: Assistant in Latest News on 08 3rd, 2009 | | No Comments »

Visa Off Logo

Okay, I said there would be a series of exciting news, and here is the big one. Sorry, it took me a while to make this announcement. I wanted to wait until at least Florence’s name would appear on the website, and finally the time has come.

Florence’s “Water Works” has been selected to exhibit at the 2009 VISA OFF festival in Perpignan!!!

The “Water Works” exhibition includes “Water Colors I” that received an Honorable Mention from the 2008 International Photography Awards.

VISA OFF is sponsored by the prestigious International Festival of Photojournalism, VISA POUR L’IMAGE, and these two big festivals will be held concurrently in Perpignan, France.  So photographers from all over the world including famous photojournalists will gather in Perpignan, and local restaurants and shops will become instant galleries for Visa Off exhibitions during the festival. I don’t know how they decide which shop to exhibit whose pictures, but Florence got lucky. Her exhibition will be held in a book store, Bébé en Bulles. I just don’t think her pictures would go well with a meat store… VISA OFF website has an interactive map, and Florence’s exhibition at Bébé en Bulles is number 29 on the map. Here is more detailed information about Florence’s exhibtion at Visa Off:

Title: Jeux d’eau  (2009 Visa Off exposition 29)

Date: du 29 août au 12 septembre

Place: Bébé en Bulles  10, rue de la Cloche d’Or,  66000 Perpignan


The official Opening of Florence’s exhibition will be on September 1, 2009. Also there will be a screening of her pictures on a humongous screen in the evening of September 9 at place de la République.

Florence and I are very excited (yes, I’ll be there) about this event and look forward to seeing you there!

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