One evening during the year-end of 2004/2005, I was walking around in the downtown of Tokyo. During those years, I could end up anywhere, anyhow and meet all kinds of people.
And when I look back on it today, I can see why things happened the way they did and why certain people fell into and out of my life. Every step I took in ”the Way” were, more or less, synchronized with my purpose.
The tattooed model depicted here is the Japanese photographer Haruto Hoshi. We met at an old, tiny bar in the backstreets of Shinjuku, but at that time, I had absolutely no idea of who he was. Several years later, I used to go to bookstores and look at his books or visiting his exhibitions around Tokyo, not knowing I already met and photographed him.
That evening, we started to talk just because we both were carrying a camera. Over and above, being young and eccentric, I used to be a magnet for people with knocked-out teeth rather than people with bleached teeth.
I remember he showed me a joint and pointed at the loft. There was a narrow stairway, or if it was a ladder, that was leading up all the way to the loft of the building. 5 minutes later we were on top of the backstreets of Tokyo, his shirt were gone and I had started to photographing him.
He managed to help me to get to this picture because we hardly had any understandable communication either before, during or after this shooting due to language problems and due to the influences of various substances.
It eventually took me about 10 years before I knew who I actually met and photographed that evening. A friend of mine who bought the picture got contacted by a woman in Japan who saw the print on Facebook, telling him that she knows the man on the picture.
I finally got to meet Mr Haruto on an group exhibition in Shinjuku 2014. He told me that he already had seen the picture by chance on an group exhibition I joined in Nishiwaki, located between Osaka and Kobe in the summer of 2010, without knowing who the photographer behind the picture was.
All these things just makes sense today, and makes it all even better and even more fascinating for me to be who I am as a photographer, still after 10 years in the game. And I hope it will continue to be just like that.
All in all, this image managed to set the standard of my style in photography: The perfect balanced cocktail of hazardousness and vulnerability.