Tokyo-based art director and designer Steve Nakamura has teamed up with German photographer and filmmaker Norbert Schoerner to create 'Nearly Eternal', a sensual food photobook to be released in 2016 and featured in Time Out Tokyo's winter magazine issue. We met up with the pair and asked them to tell us more about the project...
‘Nearly Eternal’ is a photography book about food. Tell us about the concept.
Steve: It’s about playing a fine line between reality and fiction, using the subject of window display food.
Norbert: We have always been inspired by the craftsmanship of this uniquely Japanese culture. The idea to reproduce something natural or ‘real’ in the most detailed manner in order to use it as display is amazing both from a commercial and creative point of view.
S: By placing the food in specific settings, it brings it to life, suggesting the food has some sort of relationship between a specific place or time.
N: We wanted to find a way to build a project around this and find a way to shoot something ‘fake’ in the most natural way – hence putting the viewer into a position where they question what’s real and what isn’t...
You have both largely been involved in fashion and pop culture campaigns in the past. Why did you choose to focus on food?
S: It started with our fascination of window display food as a subject of art. Recontextualising an aspect of life that everyone can relate to. Shooting food as still life is a basic form of photography. But making something average look surreal is a completely different approach.
There’s an element of humour in the images. Do you feel there is value in making a viewer/reader laugh when contemplating meaning in an image?
S: In some of the images, yes. It was important to give character to each piece of food. Food has many facets... it can suggest a location and also be sensitive, luxurious, playful, dark. Each subject should be treated in a different way.
How did you choose the foods that you’ve featured?
N: We tried to keep the culinary palette as international as possible.
What process do you go through when coming up with conceptual images such as these?
S: It took over a year to research foods and locations. Starting with the selection of objects and locations, to testing them out. Most of the scenes were scripted with room to improvise later. We wanted the result to look effortless, believable.
What kind of reader do you think the book will appeal to?
N: Hopefully across the board – people who love photo and art books but also people who would not necessarily engage with something conceptual.
What’s your favourite food?
'Nearly Eternal' is published by Chance Publishing, an imprint of Claire de Rouen Books, and will be available from Colette in Paris, Dashwood Books in New York and Claire de Rouen Books in London. It will be available in Tokyo in 2016. For more information about the creators, visit www.stevenakamura.com and www.dayfornight.tv/schoerner.
Share the story