Kobe to New York City
The people I meet over a cocktail and a handshake never cease to amaze me. The path that leads from first introductions to colleagues and then friends is hard to trace. In our busy lives there are faces that pass through without a second thought. Then there are others who seem to fit like a needle on a record. This is a short story about one of those fortunate grooves. Her name is Misaki Matsui. Today I want to share with you her most recent project as a director of a music video. It was the first time she was directing rather than shooting, but we will get to the video in a second. First I want to share a little bit about how I came to know Misaki.
Last year at my opening, “Lost Ceremony” here in New York City, I was introduced to the cultural representative from Kobe, Mr. Ogata. He was wonderfully outgoing and very enthusiastic about my work, to which I was quite flattered. After we discussed my return trip to Japan, he said that he wanted to introduce me to a Japanese photographer living in New York City. With that, I was put in touch with Misaki Matsui. Two weeks later, we met for a coffee downtown. I can’t tell you how many times I have met people for a coffee here in the city. But I really enjoy it. Coffee is informal, there are no obligations, and it’s my style of mixing work with fun.
Getting to know Misaki
One year later Misaki came to Kyoto to assist me in the workshop. It was the first time we worked together and to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what to expect. Sure we had gotten to know each other over the year in NYC, but traveling with people is a whole different ballgame. To my surprise and all of the participants delight, Misaki was a perfect fit. She proved indispensable for negotiating “all things Japanese” and her lighthearted spirit was a welcome presence every morning. Her backstory about moving from Japan to the United States is worthy of another article, but for now you can see her other projects in the links below.
Today, I would like to introduce her video “white sea”, which was shot and edited at the end of the year. The musician, Jun Ando, is playing a traditional Japanese harp, something that is completely new to me. Hope that you enjoy checking it out as much as I did.
What are the expectations for a first attempt at anything? Should it be good or bad, how can we measure something we’ve never done? As we get older the tendency to try something new diminishes. The courage to try new things is like a muscle that if left unused shrivels up and dies. We become afraid of failure, imperfection, or it not matching up to expectations real or imaginary.
Once we get over the anxiety of failure, first attempts can be brilliant. They leave behind the self consciousness of the hardened professional and just put all of their efforts out in plain view. My suspicion is that this video will not be Misaki’s last. It is the very beginning of a role she could not have pictured for herself six years ago when she left Japan. But after a few years of working on her series of artists who came to New York to find success, the music video became a logical extension of her work. Please enjoy the film and join me in congratulating Misaki for pushing her photography, her goals, and herself to a new level.
Misaki’s Facebook Page (remember every Like counts)