Ever since the advent of color photography, the process of taking still images has never been the same. Suddenly, the real world could be more accurately captured to great effect. While the correct use of color can portray life more faithfully, its more imaginative use lends itself well to more fantastical creations. Portrait and fashion photographer Mika Ninagawa has been applying this very principle to advertise to the rest of the world that color is indeed life.
Mika Ninagawa is one of Japan's most successful commercial photographers. She has dabbled in portraiture, fashion, advertising, and everything in between. Her trademark look, if you haven't noticed by now, is her use of vibrant, contrasting colors and dynamic angles. Her combination of traditional Japanese elements (such as kimonos) and futuristic palettes makes her work immediately stand out.
Ninagawa also has a passion for aquarium fishes, especially goldfishes. She devotes a portion of her photography towards the freshwater pets, although her interest in them is more than just simple aquaculture: in Ninagawa's photographs, the colorful little creatures become little rainbow beacons as their images are captured through the refracting water, solid aquiarum glass sides, and through the discriminating lens of the photographer.
Apart from still photography, Ninagawa has directed a number of music videos, but her most notable cinematic work is the 2007 feature film Sakuran, which is based on a manga series about a young woman's journey to becoming an oiran (or courtesan). The dramatic cinematography and colorful costumes of the movie give away Ninagawa's flair for outlandish coloring. She is set to release her next film this year entitled Helter Skelter. This new movie unsurprisingly tells the story of a supermodel obsessed with her physical beauty.
There's little else to say about Mika Ninagawa that her lively and colorful photographs can't say. Anyone looking for more of her pictures should check out her official website here. More outrageously vivid colors can be found in any of her books, Mika Ninagawa (Rizzoli Publications), Acid Bloom and Mika Ninagawa: Flower Addict to name a few.