ZAGREB COULD BE MY HOME
Tell us something about yourself…
I am from Tokyo, Japan. I’ve been exploring the world for the past 8 years. I lived in the US for 5 years. Since 2013, I’ve been living in Europe. I’ve visited 21 countries in Europe so far. I love traveling and staying at one city for a longer period of time to get to learn more about the city, its lifestyle and people.
You travel all over the world. How did it start and what motivated your traveling?
Before I started to travel around, I lived in Budapest for almost 2 years. When it ended, I wanted to stay in Europe a bit more. I started off with Croatia and I just kept going. Now it’s been almost a year and a half since I started traveling.
What is “home” for you? Can you see Croatia and/or Zagreb being your home?
I guess I am trying to find a home as I’m traveling. Croatia for me comes very close to being called “home”. Zagreb is a very liveable city. I can get almost all the things I need for everyday living, and it’s a possible candidate to live in for a longer period.
Do you think your “wanderlust” defines you as a person? Is it difficult to live from your suitcase for such a long time?
I am not sure, but I’ve been living outside of Japan for the past 8 years, and I got accustomed to blending in in each environment over time. I like the fact I don’t have too much stuff on me. It’s free and easy to move around.
What do you like most about Zagreb?
There are always some interesting events going on especially around Ban Jelačić Square. It has many unique museums and so many green spaces. It’s like the more I spend the time in the city, the more I find something new and interesting.
What do people in Croatia seem like to you?
Croatian people are very kind and welcoming. It seems their goal is to enjoy life. And I love how so many Croatian people love and are proud of their country and they are completely open about it. That’s something I don’t see often in other countries.
Let’s talk about your photos now. When did you first become interested in taking photos and how did this interest develop?
When I was visiting Split, I was very inspired by the city so I decided to learn more about photography to capture the beauty of the city.
Did you know from the beginning what your photographing style was or did it develop over time?
I started off by taking tons of pictures without learning the history of photography, about famous photographers, or even the technical aspects. I guess I had some style from the beginning, and developed and refined it even more over the course of learning.
What is happening for your photography work in the future? What do you want to focus on more in your photos?
I don’t want to limit myself to just one genre of photography. I would like to try many things. I have started interior photography recently which makes me learn more about space and composition. There are so many things to try out – portraiture, events, actions… As I am learning more and gaining experience, I am confident enough to charge people for what I do and for my work.
Do you think photo manipulation is good or bad for the art of photography?
I think it is not a question of good or bad. It is part of the art of photography.
Manipulation occurs as soon as you click the shutter button because you chose what you want in the photo. Post-processing is just the extension of recreating what you want to see in the photo.
What do you want to show in your photos and which impression do you want them to have on the spectator?
I want to show the positive things rather than sad and depressing things. I want to show the beauty of the places or things I saw.
Do you speak any Croatian? Do you have any favourite Croatian words, food, drinks?
I like goulash and seafood. I really like the seasoning of Croatian food.
From Yuya's gallery - ZAGREB
Photo: Dunja Plazonja i Lidija Šeatović
Translation: Dunja Plazonja