Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Small Planet" by Naoki Honjo

I heard about this photography gallery by a Japanese photographer called Naoki Honjo a few weeks ago. The photographs that he takes are supposed to be pretty different from mainstream photos, so I was very excited waiting for the opening of his exhibition this week at the petite art museum at Tsim Sha Tsui's Harbor City.

Surprise on the street - Lion Dance

Though before getting to the gallery, we saw some interesting scenes along the way as well.


In the busy center of Tsim Sha Tsui, we saw this gigantic pink crowd in the middle of a road.


Lion dance!!!! (A bright pink one!!!)


There were two!!! I think the black one looked even cooler!!


I was not sure what was the occasion that called for this celebratory lion dance, but the crowd were cheering and taking pictures happily regardless (including Mike, of course).


It reminded me of the days back in high school when I was volunteering at the Oakland China town police station, where the Oakland Youth Lion Dance Team would always gather before practice.

I got to hold the lion head and pretended to "dance" a few times. I was told that I barely moved, even though I thought I was dancing very energetically at the time, hahaha....

The Gallery - "Small Planet"

I was really looking forward to this gallery because it is a very "fun" gallery.


The photographer, Naoki Honjo, specializes shooting from helicopters or very tall buildings using a "tilt shift" lens, which allows allows maximum control over the depth-of-field of the photo, distorting its focus in such a way that the human eyes are fooled into believing that they are looking at a miniature or a model.

Though they look incredibly like models, these photos are all of real landscapes and architecture and haven't been digitally post-processed.

Here are some of Naoki Honjo's exhibition photos, ain't they "fun" to look at? =D

Swimming PoolSwimming pool, Tokyo, Japan, 2006

Horse Race

HonjoNakayama Horse race track, Chibe, Japan, 2005

StationTaxi Stand, Tokyo, Japan, 2006

Kings Cross, London 2007 by Naoki Honjo

Kings Cross, London 2007

With the special tilt-shift lens, focus can be restricted to a single, narrow band, with everything else around it rapidly blurring away, creating the miniature effect you saw from the photos.

Tilt-shift photography
Another tilt-shift photo that I really like, by mcsixth

Here are more info on tilt-shift photography, if you are interested.

The Harbor

Besides the framed, enlarged photos on display, the exhibition also featured Naoki Honjo's latest collection book "Small Planet". I was curious enough to flip through the book page by page.


While I was busy playing the "find the focus of this photo" game on each page, Mike's attention was already attracted by the beautiful harbor outside of the museum.


Victoria Harbor will always be the prettiest harbor to me!!


I couldn't resist the temptation of the harbor and joined him outside.


Looking at the blue water....


Enjoying the light wind blowing onto your face...


So peaceful and pleasant....


It reminded me of the time when I was still living in the Bay Area in California, Mike and I would go walk near the bay every weekend...


I wish that the place that we choose to settle down in the future will have such a beautiful bay nearby also.


See how the harbor makes me so happy that I actually "glow"? hahaha....

Yummy Fruit Juice

After enjoying the gallery and the spectacular harbor view, we needed something to recharge our stomach as well.

Since we were not near Mong Kok and thus couldn't get our favorite mango cococut juice, we settled for a fresh cup of juice nearby.


Somebody was apparently having too much fun with the camera when I was busy trying to get attention from the fruit stall owner.


"Hey You!!!!"

And yea - the fresh strawberry juice was yummy!!!! =D

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