Hoshitango Imachi © Reed Young
From another of Reed Young
's intriguing photo series, we bring you Life After Sumo. "They're chefs and bar owners, but also hip-hop singers and TV comedians. After retiring from the ring, the road for champions of the legendary Japanese sport divides. But their second life, to be invented, is built precisely on discipline and hard work. Only to discover that the spirit of fighting is in their blood and always will be. I strongly recommend you visit this series on Reed's website
where he writes extensively about sumo wresting, and interviews some of the ex-wrestlers that he photographed. Good stuff.
Above: Hoshitango Imachi is a 44-year-old Argentinean who moved to Tokyo when he was 21 to attend the University of Chuo. After arriving he become a sumo wrestler so he could support his family back home. Now he's an official Japanese citizen and works as a professional wrestler for the Japanese company DDT (The Dramatic Dream Team).
Konishiki Yasokichi is a 45-year-old retired sumo wrestler and one of Japan's most recognizable celebrities. Now that he's retired from the sport that made him so popular, he's become a hip-hop artist and host of his own children's television show. He was the heaviest sumo wrestler of all time weighing 580 pounds (264 kg). Two years ago he underwent gastric bypass surgery and has lost much of the weight that previously threatened his good health.
Yoshitoku Tashiro is a 33-year-old retired sumo wrestler who now works as a writer. He recently published a best-selling book about the real life of a sumo wrestler, including topics such as how to meet a girl, how wrestlers travel, what they eat, and what they do in their spare time. He originally wrote the book with the intent of teaching young wrestlers about the kind of life they might lead, but it ended up selling more to the masses out of curiosity for a sport that is rarely covered with a personal viewpoint.
Yasuyuki Hirose is a 32-year-old retired sumo wrestler who's become famous in Japan for his part in a comedy trio that performs on TV. His obesity related difficulties are often the topic of the group's jokes. In particular he's known for being able to drink a two-litre bottle of orange Fanta in only ten seconds.
Naoki Hino is a 32-year-old Chanko restaurant owner. Chanko is a stew that's eaten in large amounts by sumo wrestlers to gain weight. Because of Sumo's popularity, Chanko restaurants are becoming extremely successful among the general public. But Naoki's restaurant has the advantage of being one of the few owned by a real sumo wrestler.
Sanyutei Utamusashi is a 41-year-old retired sumo wrestler who practices the art of Rakugo, a form of entertainment that involves complicated yet comedic storytelling. Every day at noon hundreds of businessmen and women fill the plastic covered seats of this auditorium to eat their lunches while watching him perform.
Tokyo-based photographer Kuraya Takashi
describes the images in his missing pets project as "once just records of normal days" that now have another role: to jog people's memories and locate the lost.
I feel much the same way he does: "The story of the subject pleases me, with aches and tint of guilt at the same time."
I was excited to get an update from productive Mr Francisco Salgueiro
, "Portuguese best seller author and photographer, won this year's Greatest Photo Contest of the World by the iconic french magazine Photo." His last post was really popular and these new images are just as great, with a light-hearted look at front of house and a slightly darker look behind-scenes from multiple circuses in Portugal.
's photographs of her friend Kay in the final stretch are currently showing at Soho Photo
, here in New York City. In a personal yet completely relatable journey for the photographer, and following Kay's journey to the end which reflects so many inevitable others, she produced a quiet series, showing how her friend held herself dealing with terminal cancer.
"Life and death, the fragility of human connections, the certainty of the end; all are joined to what our spirits manifest as we confront our greatest losses, whether in our past, future or the elusive boundary between them - this precise moment.
"Waiting Room is a foray into this territory we all share. We know death is waiting; yet we persist. This work explores the waiting, the persistence and the places we live while dying. Places largely separated from life.
"Waiting Room project is about Kay. She was 54. She was dying of cancer. She soon found herself partly paralyzed. I visited her often. Everyone approaches death differently. Kay had an amazing dignity that grew from her acceptance of her situation. She knew she was dying; she could barely move. She knew her life was circumscribed by a bed on the 12th floor of a Manhattan nursing home.
"Sometimes Kay was happy, sometimes sad, sometimes angry. Dying, she remained very much alive. Waiting Room is the story of Kay's time at the boundary between life and death and the place where she spent that time. Through Kay's story, I tell the story of all of us." Ellen Jacob.
Wonderful well-rounded project from
British photographer Tim Allen
, that not only beautifully documents true artisans in five practices, but raises money for charity. The series were all made around England's south east county of Kent. Here's Tim's story:
"In 2013 I photographed local fairgrounds and I had the idea to have a small book made of it which I then sold to raise money for charity. I chose the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society as I'm a sufferer of the condition who is lucky enough to be responding brilliantly to treatment and wanted to give something back. After raising £450 for NASS I decided to work on another book this year, but this time the subject matter would be broader. I've always appreciated good craftsmanship and after spending an afternoon doing research I found lots of interesting potential candidates for my project. 6 months later I had 5 shoots completed and produced the book, "Artisans," which is now on sale. I've also decided to continue the project and have several other shoots lined up already, hopefully for my third book next year."
Easthope Stained Glass Studio
Sometimes you just start seeing the same name in all different places, and young Laia Abril, a Spanish artist working in Barcelona and near Venice, Italy, is one for me this last couple of weeks. We emailed back in 2012 about her 'thinspiration' project and although it is a remarkable series, I couldn't bring myself to publish it. Forward to 2014 and Laia's book of that work has been published by Dewi Lewis, UK: 'The Epilogue,' is the story of the Robinson family, and the aftermath of losing their 26 year-old daughter to bulimia.
This project, The Asexuals, is an ongoing multimedia web documentary about people in the asexual community, includes stills and interviews with people who are simply disinclined towards sexual physical intimacy. You can only imagine, the "magic penis theory" some of the women have had to deal with over the years.
Sexuality is a spectrum! Learn something!
You can follow the project over on Facebook
is British-born photographer who shares her time between London and Paris. This richly wistful project addresses heartbreak - one of those pains I don't think our bodies are designed to forget.
"The series is a photographic narrative on the experience of losing love, comprised of constructed portraits of women in Paris, describing the emotional and circumstantial stages of the brokenhearted."
'Another November' was recently quite rightly awarded a special distinction by Olivier Laurent (ex-BJP, currently at Time Lightbox) in LensCulture Emerging Talents
All images © Laura Stevens
© Gunar Roze
Photographer Gunar Roze
is one of my most prolific friends online, sharing photographs he makes mostly in and around New York City and Brooklyn. Interested in natural composition and juxtaposition, Gun shoots somewhat from the hip, snatching little vignettes. In the early 80s he visited New York from his home in Toronto and shot a lot on the streets of Manhattan, neglecting this trove of photographs until recently. In the meantime he became a master photographic printer, working both here in the US and back in Canada. Gunar rediscovered these files, and serendipity led to a few of his images being included in "NYC c. 1985
" at ClampArt in New York's Chelsea in 2013. So here are a few shots from the 80s, and some from the last couple of years. I think you'll work out which is which.
Follow Gunar on Tumblr
. Buy prints at Fiercely Curious
The amazing Hector Rene Membreno-Canales
was born in 1988 in Honduras and raised later in the USA. After serving in Iraq, he used the G.I. Bill to move to New York City and study photography at the School of Visual Arts. He is currently deployed in Warsaw, documenting NATO missions, but he is still managing to get his personal photographs out there. I was really struck by this series the first time I saw it with his extreme twist on the traditional, and I am very pleased to see it gaining exposure - the series ran, with an interview, in NY Times Lensblog
recently. There is still time to catch his work in his solo show "Horses and Bayonets," at Coohaus Art
, NYC, on now.
wrote from Belfast about her new book Lots of Cake!
This fabulous publication is dedicated to the photographer's Mum, and chock full of intimate but documentary photographs. Laura says "This project began as a chronicle of special occasions, emphasising the role that my mother plays in creating important moments, and evolved from a document into a revelation of her character and imagination."
Not only does cake and its ingredients feature in the images, Laura scanned some of her Mum's original recipes and included them on vellum-style pages. I am really impressed with this self-published little number, right down to the wallpapery cover. Great job. And it's only £15 so why not treat yourself?
I was reminded of this research
: A few years ago, Paul Rozin, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist, and Claude Fischler, a French sociologist, began collaborating on a series of cross-cultural surveys of food attitudes. They found that of the four populations surveyed (the U.S., France, Flemish Belgium and Japan), Americans associated food with health the most and pleasure the least. Asked what comes to mind upon hearing the phrase ''chocolate cake,'' Americans were more apt to say ''guilt,'' while the French said ''celebration''; ''heavy cream'' elicited ''unhealthy'' from Americans, ''whipped'' from the French. The researchers found that Americans worry more about food and derive less pleasure from eating than people in any other nation they surveyed.