Dark Fantasies


Japanese photographer Miya Kishimura pulls you into a dark world of fantasy from which it is difficult to escape. A school girl in uniform with desperate eyes. The same girl with grotesque make-up. In another shot she lies on the street, seemingly dead. This is Kishimura’s world.

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Japanese Photographer Miya Kishimura

But Miya Kishimura also creates disarmingly romantic scenes that take you into a suspended feeling of happiness and yearning.

“I like weird moods,” explains the shy photographer. “I want to show things that you can’t experience in daily life. It touches me when I see something that shouldn’t be, in a place that shouldn’t exist.”

The thought seems to make her philosophical for a moment. “I probably don’t like reality. I don’t like people very much. People bring lots of trouble, don’t you think? Because I don’t like reality, I sometimes just want to fade away.”

Kishimura’s dislike of reality turns out to be a major inspiration for both her work and life. “To make reality enjoyable, even a little bit, I take photographs. She then points at her herself. “Clothes, earrings, tattoos, these are all things I do to have fun.”

Japanese Photographer Miya Kishimura

Work by Japanese photographer Miya Kishimura

Kishimura first became inspired by photography when she was around 16. “I saw this CD jacket that was really cool,” she recalls. “What’s this, I wondered, so I checked out the person who shot it. I completely fell in love with that person’s work and photography became something important to me. I started to see photos in everything around me.”

Photography came natural to Kishimura. “My father loved shooting photographs. There were always many cameras at our home. I think I felt a deep closeness to photography because of that. That made it very easy to become a photographer.”

Work by Japanese photographer Miya Kishimura

This familiarity however has not created the confidence you’d expect. “Anybody can push the shutter on a camera,” she says modestly. “I don’t feel like you need any special talent for it. I have no confidence. None whatsoever. That is probably why I feel so intensely happy when my work is praised.”

Her work carries no message, she explains. “As long as I have fun shooting that is enough for me. I don’t have goals. I just want to spend life laughing.”


Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

Comment (日本語もOK)

her work intriges me.

Mar 22, 2008 (5008 days ago)

i love beautifully interesting things, these photos are that.

Mar 22, 2008 (5008 days ago)

Wow strong impact in the photograph w/ the girl on the street. Lighting and angles are naturally taken. GOOD!!

Mar 23, 2008 (5007 days ago)

Ferami, totally agree. That photo really leaves a huge impact.

Kjeld Duits (author)
Mar 23, 2008 (5007 days ago)

Her ideas are different and so simple, but they have such a deep impact.
She grabs you into the dark side of things and that is utterly beautiful.

Alice Heartbreak
Mar 27, 2008 (5003 days ago)

Her artwork is amazing, which also gives me insperation to follow my dreams even more. Bravo.

Heather Heart---Sick
Jul 3, 2008 (4905 days ago)

Some of the pictures remind me of the joker. the makeup at least. it also has that sense of tragedy! i love it

Jul 26, 2008 (4882 days ago)

i thinks its brilliant work.. both styling n make-up, very conceptual to me.. and the final effect is photographed really well too!
keep up d good work!

Aug 7, 2008 (4870 days ago)

I think so, too, Nandita. Both conceptually and artistically, these photographs are really strong. Miya is also very sensitive to the feelings of her generation.

Kjeld Duits (author)
Aug 7, 2008 (4870 days ago)

The girl with the red thread across her face almost looks like a girl version of Heath Ledger’s Joker!
Great photos.

Sep 16, 2008 (4830 days ago)

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