Copenhagen life as seen through the lens of “phonography”
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Maya Matsuura is a Japanese photographer born and raised outside Tokyo, in the countryside of Chiba toward the ocean. As a child, Maya would spend one hour of the morning walking to school, undistracted by modern technology. Perhaps this helped shape her into the brilliant observer that she has become.
Maya describes how she strives to capture the empty space and atmosphere in her images. “The air in Copenhagen is very dry and light” she explains, compared to in Japan where she finds that the air is more wet and heavy, kind of damp. How she works with light and colour is captivating. Finding a scene and framing it comes naturally to her at this point and is more or less intuitive.
“In Copenhagen, people are so relaxed”. Maya finds it fascinating how early people get off work and are able to hang out with friends and family (it is 7pm and the street is full of people dining and having drinks). She explains that people really have a balanced life in Copenhagen, not constantly feeling a need to prove themselves. Here, people have time to enjoy themselves and appreciate life. She especially enjoys the closeness to water and how quickly you can get around on a bike.
Before moving to Copenhagen, Maya had travelled around the Nordic countries to meet friends she had made over the internet. When asked how to become part of the creative community, she says that she has had really positive experiences and that “you just have to reach out and message someone to ask if they want to hang out or have a coffee”.
Currently, Maya is working on a self-initiate project that she funds through shooting for brands and various magazines. In December, she will most likely go back to Japan as her VISA will expire. Maya says that she would love to stay.