Hi, I'm Yusuke Nagata.
Some of you have already purchased my zines and prints from the FAR EAST DARKROOM (F.E.D.) website, but I realize I haven't fully explained what F.E.D. really is.
What is FAR EAST DARKROOM?
Our activities include showcasing various photographers who specialize in darkroom printing, and selling their prints and zines. As a publisher, we're also keen on producing and selling our own zines.
Additionally, we're planning to host print critiques and darkroom experience workshops periodically.
The Story Behind FAR EAST DARKROOM
The idea originated in 2022, after the passing of my grandmother in Hokkaido. I transformed a room in her now-empty house into a darkroom.
Initially, I considered turning the house into an artist-in-residence space, but due to the distance from Tokyo (over 1,000 km) and management challenges, I abandoned that plan. However, I found the idea of creating a community centered on a darkroom to be a fascinating one.
As film prices rise and many photographers shift to digital, I have friends who not only shoot on film but also develop and print in their own darkrooms. Their work is exceptional, and I wanted more people to see it.
Therefore, I decided to establish a brand focused on darkroom printing, featuring the work of community members, including their prints and zines.
In naming the brand FAR EAST DARKROOM, I aimed to bring to the world the unique prints emerging from Japan's darkrooms, situated at the far east of the globe.
A Hub for Exceptional Prints from Various Photographers
The landscape for photographers varies internationally, but in Japan, the decline of print magazines has led to a shortage of editorial support, pushing photographers to the forefront.
Today's photographers need to handle not only creation but also the promotion and sales of their work. However, not every photographer possesses these business skills.
Many young photographers struggle with how to effectively use social media and market themselves.
At F.E.D., we want to highlight these photographers, focusing on their extraordinary work, particularly their prints, and boost their visibility through our communication efforts.
Although we've been operating in beta mode, selling my own darkroom prints and zines, our plan is to actively involve more photographers in this project.
Our first feature will be on Katsumi Nishizawa, a Japanese photographer who has documented various countries including Russia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Israel. We plan to introduce and sell his prints.
Please note that these sales will be for a limited time, so I recommend subscribing to our newsletter to keep updated.
Not Just Digital: Bringing Photography to Life
In recent times, the journey of photography often ends with digital data – from shooting to editing to posting on social media.
However, in an era where anyone can create beautiful images with their smartphones, I believe photographers should not be confined to digital formats. Instead, they should explore various forms of expression, like prints, zines, and exhibitions.
See you next time!