Yoshiaki Suito and the eagerness to capture the world
An intimate photographic installation on the artist's travels through different countries, now available at the third floor of Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy
Yoshiaki Suito's Installation at Palazzo Mora | Photo credits: Federico Vespignani
Since he was a teenager, Yoshiaki Suito has always dreamt of going beyond and afar, of travelling to distant places. After graduating from high school, he travelled with his backpack around several countries in Southeast Asia like Thailand, Nepal, and India. Throughout these journeys, Yoshiaki, a young photographer, started to take some pictures for himself. But soon enough he realised that those photos did not come out well - they did not convey anything about what he felt and experienced while travelling. That is when and why he decided to study photography. He knew that if he wanted to travel around the world and document it, he would first have to learn photography.
Today, Yoshiaki Suito is a photographer from Osaka, Japan, that documents his experiences from different corners of the world. According to Suito, there are many different points influencing his work while travelling but, among all, it is the challenges and opportunities that come with languages. “When you meet someone who does not speak the same language as you, there is always an added effort to try to understand each other”, he says. It is about action and reaction, about showing an interest in one another, to connect and listen, and it is precisely this reflection that Suito captures with his pictures.
A clear example of this can be seen in his installation Sam, a photographic documentary presented at Palazzo Mora for the Personal Structures art exhibition. Interestingly, however, when he took the pictures of Sam, he did not think of the theme of the exhibition. As Suito explains, “it was within the limited space of his apartment where the reflections between them arose” and their differences is what probably brought them together and influenced each other: “He was a 68-years old immigrant from Malta and I was a 22-years old Japanese student. Our background was so different that it made us be interested in each other's lives”.
In fact, the humanity with which he captures the images has much to do with his approach. The young photographer believes that one does not have to look up nor down on others too much. You have to try to stand at the same height as the rest, especially when taking pictures.
From Osaka to Venice
As part of his journey as a photographer, Yoshiaki Suito has added a stop at the European Cultural Centre on the occasion of the sixth edition of the biennial contemporary art exhibition Personal Structures. It is with this exhibition that Suito features his work, Sam, for the first time outside of Japan. Not only is he exposing his work to a new audience, a European audience that looks with a different perspective, but also he feels he is bringing his subject, the 68-years old immigrant from Malta, a bit closer to home.
While he waits to see how the exhibition unfolds, Yoshiaki is already preparing his next steps. One of his upcoming projects is Compartimos, a work of portraits shot in Latin America that he purposely gave a title in Spanish - translated “sharing” - in order to keep and share in some way the special moments he lived between his subjects and himself. Another is Calle Esperanza which he captured in La Havana, Cuba, and consisted of documenting local residents in front of their houses. Every evening, he explains, these residents were not doing anything but in Yoshiaki’s perception “it seemed as if they were waiting for something”. It was then that he noticed the Spanish word ‘esperar’ which is not only ‘to wait’ but also ‘to hope’. “I found it interesting in the people, I thought they were doing nothing but they were still able to hope for something”.
Yoshiaki Suito's installation at Palazzo Mora | Photo credits: Federico Vespignani
In addition, there is also another work in the pipeline that he has never shown before, consisting of a photo series between ‘Arantza’, a woman from the city of Bilbao in the Basque Country, and him. It narrates the story of their trip to South America in 2006, where they travelled for three months together - representing a very unusual combination between one Basque woman and a Japanese man. And this work is also followed by another one, one about ‘Ricky’, a homeless man from Puerto Rico who lived in a subway station in Manhattan, in New York City, and with whom he became friends and took pictures for more than two years.
All of the above are just projects and photographic works to Yoshiaki, but the result of great friendships and it is throughout his pictures that those relationships and their surroundings come to life.
You can visit Yoshiaki Suito's exhibition at Palazzo Mora until the 27th of November or discover his work by exploring the virtual tours online. Discover more about the photographer on his profile online and on Instagram.