Q&A: misaki matsui

The artist misaki matsui is a still photographer and film director. She was born in Kobe, Japan, and moved to New York City in 2008.

From the very beginning of her artistic visual career, she has consistently focused on one major theme, “no moment without hope.” This is evident in her landscape photos and portraiture, and also in her films and installation projects. Through her powerful visual artistry and narrative, she has made it her mission to remind people that hope is never ever lost.

One of the most significant projects she has done to date is called //from the white room. This is part of the White Story hardcover book accompanied by a music CD in collaboration with Koto (Japanese harp) player and composer, Jun Ando. The physical book is available on Amazon and the digital version is available on iTunes. Their short film, white sea, was one of the selections at the Raindance Film Festival 2014 in London, UK. You can watch white sea on Vimeo.

misaki matsui has shown her art works in the United States, Japan, and Europe. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. From 2012 to 2014, she has been acknowledged with an International Photography Awards Honorable Mention. Visit her website at www.misakimatsui.com to see some of her works.

misaki matsui

DOMINIQUE JAMES: What kind of pictures do like to take?

misaki matsui: I like to take photos of landscapes, and natural portraiture. When it comes to landscapes, I love the ocean and cherry blossoms. On portraiture, I have a personal project titled, New Yorkers with a Dream, which documents different artists from all over the world who follow their dreams in New York.

DJ: What’s your favorite camera and lens?

mm: I mainly use Canon EOS 5D Mark III and 24-70mm.

DJ: Any particular piece of photo gear that you like using? 

mm: Nothing in particular, I would consider using any photo gear to serve my photographic purpose, but in general, I prefer a very straightforward, sincere and honest approach to my image-making.

DJ: Do you edit and enhance your pictures before showing them? 

mm: My style is to evoke natural color in both landscape and portraiture, so I don’t change the color by Photoshop basically.

DJ: How do you share your pictures and with whom? 

mm: I have been updating my photo blog everyday for more than 7 years now since I came to New York from Japan in 2008. It’s a unique style with 1 photo and 1 sentence in English and Japanese a day. It’s a part of my Cape of NY website at www.misakimatsui.com/blog, a selection of which became an inspiration for my e-book available at Amazon.

I also sometimes share my photographs by SNS - Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook, etc.

DJ: How do you store or archive your pictures?

mm: I shoot digitally only now and I archive everything with Adobe Lightroom.

DJ: What do you think of today’s state of photography?

mm: Anyone can take a good photo with reasonable and good equipment. I believe, however, that what’s really important is the story, to make a compelling narrative.

DJ: What is that one all-important lesson you’ve learned when it comes to photography?

mm: Mind, life and everything reflects in one’s photography.

DJ: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received and can share with others?

mm: Just believe “no moment without hope.”

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Notes: All photographs on this page, used with permission, by misaki matsui. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. For the complete set of interviews and photographs of all the amazing photographers featured on this blog’s exclusive Q&A, please click here.