Happenings

The Joy of Photography and Expression: An Interview with Dean Fujioka

Dean Fujioka, an actor and musician, is an artist who bases his activities mainly in Asia. We spoke with Dean, whose hobby is photography, about what it is to take photos and the joy of being able of express oneself in them. (Interview by: SNAPSHOT)

<表現する喜び、写真を撮る喜び ー ディーンフジオカ インタビュー>
俳優として、ミュージシャンとして、アジアを主舞台に活躍するアーティスト、ディーンフジオカ氏。写真が趣味、というディーン氏に、写真を撮る心、そして表現する喜びとはなにか、話を聞いた。(Interview by: SNAPSHOT)

 

Those euphoric goosebump moments that make you feel that life is good
“生きててよかった”と感じる、鳥肌の立つような瞬間

SNAPSHOT: Dean, you are a musician, actor and film director - a multi-talented artist. I hear you also enjoy photography. What is photography to you?
音楽、俳優、映像制作と、アーティストとして多彩な面をもっておられるディーンフジオカさん。写真も趣味とお聞きしています。ディーンさんにとって、写真とはどんなものですか?

Dean Fujioka (DEAN, below): I think, they are precious notes to my future self. Or perhaps time capsules would be a better description. They are really powerful tools you can use to recall your own memories. They also serve as my source of inspiration for movie and music making. With photos, you can store your memories, and even share them with someone else. In the process, you get inspired, and it becomes a force that drives you to create something new.
未来の自分に対する大事なメモ、でしょうか。タイムカプセルとでもいうべきか。自分の記憶を呼び戻す強力なツールですね。映像や音楽の仕事のアイディアの源にもなっています。記憶を残せて、誰かと共有もできる。それによってなにか刺激を得られて、またあたらしいなにかを生み出せたりする原動力にもなります。

SNAPSHOT: What is it that makes people enjoy photography?
写真のおもしろさとはなんでしょうか?

DEAN: I personally like taking photos. Finding the right angle, thinking of a composition, or being particular about the colour placement, is interesting. Also, I really know that feeling that you are having fun, when you finally get the result you were aiming for.
僕は写真の撮影が好きなんです。アングル探ったり、コンポジションを考えたり、色のポジショニングにこだわったりといったことが楽しいです。そして、ツボにはまったときの“楽しい!”という感覚はよくわかります。

SNAPSHOT: So have you ever experienced enormous delight from taking a picture that you were satisfied with?
自分の納得いく写真が撮れたときの大きな喜びがあるんですね?

DEAN: Yes, I have indeed. This happens in photography, acting, songwriting, song production, literally everything I do. It is that feeling of finally finding what you were looking for, when everything just clicks.
それは、もうあります、あります。それは、写真だけでなく、演技をしていても、音楽を作っていても、歌を採っていても、なにをやっていてもあるものですね。なんか、これがほしかった、というものが、ツボにはまる感じでしょうか。

SNAPSHOT: Is this feeling different for music, acting and photography?
そのツボにはまる感じは、音楽、演技、写真で違うものなんですか?

DEAN: For me, I call it the ‘goosebump radar’. There’s that feeling you get when creating something, when you start to get the feeling of goosebumps. This could happen with a photo you have taken, or when you are creating footage. In music, it could be the flow of the song, the arrangement, a particular take when recording the song, or when the lyrics fit perfectly. In acting, there are takes that I don’t have to take an objective look at the footage to know [that it all fell in place]. It is the same for all genres. You feel, ‘This is fun’, or ‘I’m glad I did it!’, and this makes you want to share it with others as soon as possible.
ぼくのなかでは、“鳥肌レーダー”って言っています。なにかをクリエイトしていて、鳥肌が立つ瞬間ってあるじゃないですか。それって写真一枚でもそうだし、映像を制作しているときもそう。音楽で、曲の流れとかアレンジとか、歌のテイクとか、歌詞がうまくはまったときとか。また、演技していても、自分の映像を客観的に見なくてもわかるテイクとかあります。それは全部いっしょですね。 “楽しい”、“これ、できてよかった!”っていう感覚です。このとき “早く人にシェアしたい”っていう気持ちになりますね。

SNAPSHOT: Do you think that the joy of expression is about wanting to share these moments?
表現する喜びとは、そのようなツボにはまったなにかをシェアしたい、ということなのでしょうか。

DEAN: Firstly, the world I am trying to create, and what I want to see or hear, the moment these aspects come together, is the first time I begin to feel this joy. These particular moments truly make me feel happy to be alive.
まずは、自分のなかの作り出したい世界とか、見たいものとか聴きたいものとかが、合致した瞬間が最初に得られる喜びですね。その瞬間“生きていてよかった”って本当に思います。

Whether it’s in photography, acting, or music, there are moments where I feel a surge of passion, and that’s also when I feel happy to be alive. I think the more these moments accumulate, the more fulfillment you gain in your life. Also, I feel that they lead to personal growth.
写真も演技も音楽も、表現するとき、そこに情熱を感じられる瞬間があって、“生きててよかった”って、思えます。そういう瞬間の積み重ねが、自分の人生が豊かになっていくことなのではないか。そして、自分の成長にもつながると思っています。

When you are done with these forms of expression, you would naturally want to share them. If the joy of expression were to follow an order, I think this would be it.
で、そのような表現ができたとき、それはやっぱりシェアしたいじゃないですか。表現する喜びに順番があるとしたら、そんな理解だと思います。

SNAPSHOT: I see, I completely understand what you mean.
なるほど、よくわかりました。

DEAN: Personally, I want to live my life in a positive way. For myself, the things I am interested in are related to art and entertainment. Working in these fields, I always get those moments of euphoria, where I go ‘I managed to express that!’ or “I got the take I wanted!’, or others that come close. There are those simple moments of joy where you just go, ‘Wow, that is really cool!’ In regards to this, I want to continue feeling this genuine sense of joy.
僕は、生きていることにポジティブでいたい、と思っています。自分にとって興味を持てるものが、エンターテインメントとかアートに関わることですが、そこで仕事をしていて、“この表現ができた”とか“この映像が撮れてうれしい”といった感覚、それに近い感覚がいつもあります。“わぁ、かっこいい!”とか、そういう単純な喜びがあるんです。これに関しては、いつもピュアな気持ちでいたいと思っています。

 

I am glad I had my camera with me in my early travels
若き旅の日々に、カメラがあって本当によかった

SNAPSHOT: I hear that in your earlier days you travelled across the world, frequently within Asia, and that you took many photos?
ディーンさんは若いころ、アジアを中心に、世界中を旅されたと聞きました。写真もたくさん撮られた、と。

DEAN: During those days, I travelled everywhere with my camera hung on my shoulder so that I could take photos at any time. At that time, I was using an EOS 350D, and because of it I was able to discover many things. In my travels, people taught me about the camera and in the process, it helped to deepen friendships. Showing pictures I had taken on the spot to friends whom I had just met made for some lively conversations, for example.
当時はいつもカメラを肩に下げて、いつでも写真を撮れるような状態で旅行をしていました。キヤノンのEOS 350Dを使っていましたが、あのカメラがあったから、気づけたことがたくさんあった。旅先でカメラの使い方を教えてもらい、その過程で深まっていくコミュニケーションもありました。撮った写真をその場で見せて、知り合ったばかりの友達と話が盛り上がったり。

SNAPSHOT: It sounds like the camera came in really useful when you travelled alone.
カメラが、一人旅にたいへん役に立ったのですね。

DEAN: The EOS 350D is one camera that really left its impression on me, to the point where I feel that I would not have gained all these experiences if it had not been there to accompany me those years where I was travelling around alone. I still keep it in my home. I think it was 2005 when I bought it.
あの何年間かの自分の旅の中で、あのカメラがなかったら、いろんなものが得られていなかったな、と思うくらい、EOS 350Dはすごく思い出に残っている機種です。いまも家にとってあります。あれを買ったのは2005年くらいだったかな。

Pictures Dean Fujioka took during his travels in his earlier days. He tells us that he took many pictures while travelling around the world, going to places such as Beijing, Paris, Indonesia and Tibet.
ディーンフジオカさんの若き旅の日々に撮影した写真たち。北京、パリ、インドネシア、チベットなど、世界各地を旅しながら、たくさん撮影したという。

 

SNAPSHOT: There are many people in South East Asia who have taken up travelling as a hobby. What do you think is the joy of travel?
東南アジアでは、趣味として旅を楽しみ始めた人たちが大勢いらっしゃいます。旅の喜びってなんだと思われますか?

DEAN: Yes… what could that be? It could be a desire to see the world. Or maybe it’s the feeling of wanting to see something you have never seen before.
そうですね。なんなのでしょうかね。もちろん、世界を見てみたいとか。自分の見たことのないものを見てみたい気持ちとか、なのでしょうか。

In my case, I think there was this longing, this fantasy, to be somewhere else. The feeling that there was perhaps someplace that would be more suitable for me, an inkling sense that there would be something better over in that place. That things would get better the more I pushed ahead. I think this is what made me travel.
僕の場合は、ここではないどこかに対するあこがれ、幻想があったと思います。ここよりももっと、自分に適した場所があるのではないか、とか、もっといいことありそうな予感がする、とか。前に進めば進むほどどんどんよくなっていくような感覚。その感じがあって、旅をしていたんだと思います。

SNAPSHOT: This is probably similar to what motivates the young people in South East Asia.
東南アジアの若い人たちのモチベーションと似ているかもしれませんね。

DEAN: In any case, we should strive to move forward. We should not let things that are going to happen in the future slip away. I felt that I did not want to be satisfied not knowing what something was. Fortunately, it was not difficult for me to travel on planes at that time. Even if I did not have a place to stay for the night, I had fun sleeping en route on the night bus (laughs).
とにかく、前に進む。これから始まることを見逃すわけにはいかない。知らないままで済ませたくない、と思っていました。当時は飛行機に乗るのも苦じゃなかったですし。泊るところがなくて深夜バスとかで移動中に寝る、みたいなことも楽しかったり(笑)

In those times, the EOS 350D was the camera I used to take pictures with, such as of a star-filled sky I saw when I looked up. Even while having high altitude sickness climbing a lofty mountain in Tibet, I was clicking away at the snowy mountain.
そんな中で、見上げた ものすごい星空をパシャッと撮ったのが、EOS 350Dだったんですね。チベットのすごい高い山の上に登って、高山病になりながら、雪山をパシャッ、みたいな。

SNAPSHOT: It sounds like you have had many incredible experiences, and taken just as many pictures.
驚くような体験をたくさんして、写真もたくさん撮られたのですね。

DEAN: I definitely had the feeling where it felt as though the scenes would come back to me in my dreams. Now that I recall, I did travel in some harsh environments. That’s something you can do only when you’re young (laugh). I feel really happy I got to experience all of that.
この写真に、この映像に、なにか夢を見ることができる、そんな感情が、たしかにあったかもしれないですね。いま振り返れば、過酷な環境で旅をしていましたから。若いときにしかできないことですね(笑)。あのときにそれができて、ほんとによかった。

SNAPSHOT: I suppose you were really glad to have your camera with you then?
そのとき、カメラがあってほんとによかったですね。

DEAN: Yes, I was really glad I had it with me. Between going out and having to see with just you and your eyes without a camera, and doing the same but with a camera, the latter is definitely a much better option.
ほんとによかったなと思います。カメラがなくて、ただ自分の目だけで、体一つで出かけて、一周して帰ってくるのと、カメラを持って同じことをするのでは、ぜったいカメラを持って行ったほうがいい。

After, when you look back at the pictures 10 or 20 years later, you will be able to tell just how much you changed, as well as how much you have not.
そして、10年、20年たって写真を見るとき、自分がどれだけ変わったのかがわかるし、変わってないのかってこともわかる。

Don’t we constantly lose things in the midst of living? Day by day, we lose something and gain something else instead. Maybe this is the exact reason which drives me to turn to the camera.
生きていると、常に失っていくものがあるじゃないですか。毎日毎日なにかを失って、そしてなにか別のものを得ていく。これが、もしかしたら僕をカメラに向かわせるモチベーションが高まるきっかけなのかもしれないですね。

 

The EOS 350D is the camera Dean Fujioka used throughout his travels (picture reflects the same model retailed in Japan).
It was a global hit with its lightweight and compact body, equipped with DIGIC II in its 8 megapixel CMOS sensor.
ディーンフジオカさんが世界を旅したときに手にしていたカメラ、キヤノンEOS 350D(写真は日本で発売同型機種のもの)。
800万画素CMOSセンサーにDIGIC IIを搭載。小型軽量で、世界中でヒットを記録した。

 

Please click here to know more about the EOS 350D:
Canon Camera Museum - EOS 350D

 

Use a camera instead of a smartphone to show your aesthetic sense
自分の美意識をこだわるとき、スマホではなくカメラを使う

SNAPSHOT: Dean, what do you look for when choosing a camera?
ディーンさんはカメラを選ぶとき、どの部分に注目していますか?

DEAN: I think I look for ‘beauty’. Functionality is not just about convenience; it also relates to beauty. I think functional things are beautiful. But I have come to understand that ultimately, it is also linked to what you feel about the camera when you hold it in your hands.
美しさですかね。僕は、機能性って便利なだけじゃなくて、美しさにもつながると思うんです。機能的なものは美しい。それは結局、カメラをホールドするときに感じる印象にもつながってくると理解しています。

SNAPSHOT: What impression do you have of the EOS M6, holding it for the first time?
今回新しく手にしてみたEOS M6は、どんな印象ですか?

DEAN: I like the same things about the EOS M6 that I do about the EOS M5, which I am currently using. The EOS M6 is handy and easy to operate. Also, it is able to autofocus in dark scenes. The camera can capture fleeting photo opportunities when they arise, and that is important. It can even capture moving subjects well, too.
いま愛用しているEOS M5と、好きな部分は同じです。ハンディさと操作性ですね。そして、暗いところでもオートフォーカスがきく。撮影チャンスの瞬間を逃さないのは重要です。動体でも問題ないですからね。

Not only that, it looks like it can make someone popular with the opposite sex if they have it (laughs). The cool factor is important, isn’t it? This is a camera made for someone with an aesthetic sense who desires functionality.
そして、これ、持っているとモテる!でしょう(笑)。このカッコよさは大事ですよね。機能性があって、美的感覚を持っている人が求めるカメラになっている。

 

The EOS M6, which is deemed as a feature-packed camera that will appeal to those who possess a high aesthetic sense. It carries high performance packed into its retro-style body.
機能が凝縮され、美意識の高い人に響きそう、と評されたEOS M6。レトロ感のあるボディに高い撮影性能を持つ。

Click the link below to know more:
The New EOS M6 – A Compact Mirrorless Camera with Speedy Focusing

 

SNAPSHOT: “I can take pictures with my smartphone, but I’d rather take it with my camera.” Where do you think this thought comes from?
スマートフォンでも写真は撮れますが、やはりカメラで撮りたい。この気持ちはどこから来るのでしょうか。

DEAN: The people around me have blogs and use Instagram, and those who use cameras instead of their smartphone to take pictures have a very high level of awareness. Let me try to explain why.
僕の周りにいる、ブログやインスタグラムを使っている人たちで、スマホではなく、カメラで撮っている人たちは、とても意識が高いです。これはなんだろうと考えますね。

Let’s take selfies as an example. Everyone wants take a selfie which makes them look beautiful. How about if this were a picture of food? These particular people will want to capture not only the shape and form of it, but also try to convey the smell, temperature and taste of the dish through just the picture. I think this is could be what they are thinking. It is the same for photographing children. They want to capture the child’s expressions, rather than the child himself or herself. I think these people are particularly sensitive and aware of these things.
セルフィーだったら、自分を美しく撮りたいとは、誰もが思っている。これが料理の写真だったらどうでしょう。このとき彼らは、料理の姿かたちだけではなく、匂いとか温度とか味が、見ただけで感じられるような写真でありたい。そう思っているんだと思います。子どもの写真もそう。子どもを撮る、ではなく子どもの表情を撮る、というような。そこに対する意識、アンテナを張っているんだと思います。

Therefore, I think that people who, deep within themselves, are actually quite particular about aesthetic quality would prefer to use cameras instead of smartphones to take pictures.
自分の中で美的感覚にこだわっている人は、スマホではなくカメラを使っている気がしますね。

SNAPSHOT: Thank you so much for the lovely conversation you shared with us today. We are looking forward to many more of your activities in and around Asia.
本日はいろいろなお話、ありがとうございました。アジア各地でのますますのご活躍をご期待しています。


This interview was carried out in Japanese and translated into English. While utmost effort has been made to ensure that the translation preserves the full meaning and spirit of the original, the language and expressions used in the latter were so meaningful that we have decided to include the original transcript for the benefit of those who may understand it.
(本記事は制作にあたり日本語で取材を行いました。ご本人の美しい言葉をそのままお伝えしたく、日本語原稿も付記しております。)

 

Dean Fujioka
A true renaissance man representing today’s Asia, Dean is a Japanese actor and musician.
After spending his school days in the US, Dean started traveling across the world, centering on Asia. He moved to Hong Kong and started his career as a model, then as an actor in Taiwan, appearing in many TV dramas, films, and TV commercials. Dean had his breakout performance as Tomoatsu Godai in the 2015 Japanese TV series "Asa ga Kita", establishing him as a household name throughout Japan and topping Yahoo Japan's list of most searched personalities for 2016.
Dean’s music creation is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also an avid traveler and photography enthusiast.

 

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