Sam Seager recently launched his first photo book, ‘Broken Things’ at ICN Gallery. The images in this book explore the rural Japan affected by the Tohoku diaster, and all proceeds from the sale of the book are for charity. Sam also enjoys Japanese culture in London and gives us some great recommendations, below!
1. What do you do, and why?
I work as a video commissioner at EMI records in London which involves overseeing music videos for our artists; everything from briefing directors; helping decide which treatment is best from a creative and marketing viewpoint and helping to ensure the production then runs smoothly. Outside of that, I’ve been photographing various aspects of Japanese rural culture over the past couple years, and hope to continue developing this body of work in the future. Most recently this took me to Tohoku for the year anniversary of the 2011 tsunami, where I spent three weeks meeting local people, hearing their stories and documenting what I saw. This resulted in my first photography book ‘Broken Things’ which was self-published through Kickstarter and sales of which will help raise money for two great charities working in Tohoku: It’s Not Just Mud based in Ishinomaki & O.G.A for Aid in Minamisanriku.
2. Why should people care/get involved?
My hope is that the book adds something to the understanding of the current situation in Tohoku, showing some of the important issues through the eyes of local people. I made contacts through a network of friends and generous JET English teachers based in the area and this gave me the opportunity to spend time with people who were directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami, it meant I had the opportunity to be shown what they felt was important, and witness how communities were getting back to a semblance of normality. The substantial bulk of rebuilding will take place over the next decade or more and I think it’s important that such stories from Tohoku continue to be told.
3. What are your favourite Japanese things in London?
There are many great Japanese restaurants and shops in London but some of my absolute favourites are…
ZipanguFest – Putting on a great mix of classic and contemporary Japanese films at events around the UK
Otabe Kafe – A fantastic cafe in Putney that mixes healthy Japanese food with great coffee, crepes and cakes.
ICN Space & Cafe – A Shoreditch gallery that focuses on contemporary Japanese artists working with traditional arts and crafts forms, it also has a lovely cafe that sells delicious AOI tea.
Namayasai – Discovering Namayasai was pretty much one of the highlights of last year for me, they grow organic (actually they’re better than organic) Japanese vegetables on a small farm near Lewes. As well as supplying some restaurants and shops they deliver bags of vegetables to pick up points through out London, so if you’re after the freshest daikon, kabu, negi, nasu, shiso, mizuna and many more then have a look at their website. I also spent a great day there washing giant daikon and picking fresh edamame. heaven!
Special mention to Misato – the Leicester Square institution that kept me full all through university and beyond. Simple, delicious and cheap Japanese comfort food.
The beautiful Kyoto garden in Holland Park, which I stumbled across a couple years ago and is a lovely place to go reflect on the world.
Bone Daddies Ramen – which has arguably the best Tonkotsu Ramen in London plus some delicious starters and home made flavoured sake and Shochu, it’s a vibrant and fun place to go hang out in Soho. It also inspired me to start trying to brew Sake, which was a big time fail, although has inspired to try again.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the book or would like to purchase a copy please visit www.samseager.co.uk
The book is also available in the UK from Amazon and at the ICN space in East London.