15-09-2016

Tokyo's Glow by Xavier Portela

Tokyo is one of those places with a strong connotation in the collective imagination.



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Tokyo's Glow by Xavier Portela Tokyo is one of those places with a strong connotation in the collective imagination. Photographer Xavier Portela brings to life the vibrant energy of its places by adding a pink tone, which underscores the dynamic character of the Japanese metropolis.



The power of images in communication becomes even more ground-shaking when a professional and visual storyteller like Xavier Portela, Belgian-Portuguese photographer is behind the camera.





Struck by the atmosphere of Tokyo on his first trip to Japan, with its visual onslaught of signs and neon lights, its constant, vibrant noise and the busyness of its streets, the photographer decided to capture his personal impressions in a series of photos called “Tokyo's Glow”.





Portela used post-production technique to saturate his shots of urban life in a shocking pink hue - a clear reference to Manga, the famous Japanese comics, and to brightly coloured cartoons. This layer of colour, overlapping the surface of the picture, enables the photographer to get across that sensation that is common to practically everyone who arrives on their first visit to Tokyo and that he describes as “chaos that is somehow completely smooth and fluid”.





We all know how hard it is to find words that can really describe feelings, which are of course individual in any case, and we recognise the power of images that weave a visual narration. Even just a quick glance at Tokyo's Glow by Xavier Portela catapults each of us into our own idea of Tokyo, whether influenced by films like “Lost in Translation”, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift", literature like the books of Murakami, or Manga, or Kawaii. 



All of which are united by the electrifying power that Portela gets across by adding that “shocking pink” hue.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Xavier Portela
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2016
Images: © Xavier Portela – www.xavierportela.com

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