Cover Profile: Yoshito Hasaka

Cover Profile: Yoshito Hasaka

by Yoshito Hasaka

Our March cover image is the first photographic cover we’ve featured on FFF since V1. I’ve been following the work of Tokyo based designer & photographer Yoshito Hasaka for years and had always hoped to have him grace our masthead some day. When he sent me the photograph I was blown away by the detail. Yoshito has a great eye for composition and colour giving his work a larger than life quality. He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, in another first for FFF, a Japanese/English interview.

Tell us a little about youself.

I’m Tokyo-based designer, currently working as design lead for Origami Inc., a FinTech startup focusing on mobile payments. I mostly design digital products such as mobile / web apps, websites, towards marketing materials such as prints, corporate identity, etc.


Photography isn’t part of your day job. How did you get started with photography?

I was originally a graphic designer, not a photographer. I often worked next to photographers in a role as art director, discussing image creation and I learned a lot from them. Then I started trying to shoot by myself as a hobby.


Do you research and plan a shot or do you go for a walk and see what inspires you?

These days I plan the content I express through my work first. Then I go out, checking time, season and weather, taking pictures of items, materials and objects necessary to complete my final images.


How does this compare to your design work?

In fact, it’s very similar to my design work. In my creation, photography is one of the methods which composes an element for the final output, and is a tool to complete the theme I want to express.


Do you try to get feedback from the client at an early stage?

It’s actually case by case. I relate to many kinds of projects, and the timing varies due to the communication level to the stakeholders (the relationship between me and the person, level of understanding the projects, goals). I try keep in mind that I should always be conscious about the timing and that I reach a point I want to explain and get feedback, which I believe never prevents the progress of the project.


Do you think it’s important to find time for personal projects and why?

I think it’s indispensable to do my own personal project in addition to my job. It helps me get a fresh perspective on my daily work and it build my confidence.

For example, create apps by myself as well. By coding and submitting apps myself, I could study the way to design user interface in detail linked code, implementation techniques, and how the technology of the latest mobile OS is good to be implemented for better design. That I all learned from engineers I worked with. It was also from my personal interest in the user experience and how this really is of help for my daily job.




Font Viewer iOS app (2014)

textboard2 iOS app (2017)

How do you promote your work?

I’m trying to promote my work with uniqueness. Nowadays I feel very happy getting requests to sell prints from many people. But I feel different about printing my old work within the format of photography to sell them, because I originally shot with a high ISO / edited strongly for screen and not suitable for printing.

I’m now trying the unique theme of “Tokyo, impossible to see even if you come to Tokyo”. I started creating images of Tokyo which never exist reality, based on the pictures I took. Still not many but I’ve posted on Instagram with the hashtag “#f7faketokyo”. It’s all work in progress and I’m planning to sell them when finishing up.



Can you tell us a little more about the cover image you created for us?

The cover image is also one of the #f7faketokyo series which we can’t see for real. This place is now a quite popular on social media. The first impression of this architecture said “labyrinth” to me and I expanded the floors to create this mood.

今回のカバーイメージも、#f7faketokyo シリーズの1つです。いまとなってはインターネット上、ソーシャルメディアではたくさん見ることのできる場所です。この建築は初めて見たときから、「迷宮だ」と思っていて、実際のシーンよりフロア部分を拡張してより雰囲気を出しました。

“Shinjuku 20XX” from fake tokyo series

What do you listen to while you work?

I’ve been playing the drums for a long time since my school days and I often listen to the kind of groovy music like soul / funk / hip hop, etc.  Also I compiled the songs suitable for the mood as supplements as Spotify Playlist “F7 soundtrack”. Just help yourself!

昔ドラムをやっていたこともあり、soul / funk / hip hop など、グルーヴィーなものが多いです。また、自分の写真と合わせた雰囲気の曲を自分なりにコンパイルしたものをSpotifyにプレイリスト 「F7 soundtrack」としてアップしています。よかったらどうぞ!

Cover image of the playlist “F7 soundtrack” on Spotify

What would be your dream project?

I want to create drama, stories in these stages I made in the future. It’s not yet planned whether it’s by human, things, or something else. I believe they will definitely move of themselves when I make them, and it’s one my dreams to publish the record of movement. Any format is possible, but still unclear in my mind. One thing I can say is that I can not achieve this by myself. I want to expand my world by collaborating with various people and the dream would change its form through those experiences.


What do you do to relax in Tokyo?

I like to go to exhibitions, and to the places I can touch and feel the will of the creators through their work.


What’s your favourite place in your city?

My favorite place is the rooftop of Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. I can see 360 Tokyo view beside the heliport.


Tokyo City View Sky Deck in Roppongi

Finishing off with a classic but always useful question, what’s the most important piece of advice anyone has given to you about your work?

Many people unexpectedly said that my work reminded them of Tron, Blade Runner or Cyberpunk. Those kinds of reviews are always of some help. It was unexpected and I didn’t think the images I created were similar to those, but I feel it’s an enhancement to dare to include essences from them. I sometimes intentionally try to make my image similar to them now. It should be interesting if I encounter some other suggestions that I haven’t heard. And I’m looking forward to more fresh reactions.

ぼくの作品がTronだ、Blade Runnerみたいだ、Cyberpunkだ、と言われることがよくあり、これがいつも参考になっています。正直本当に似ていると思っていなかったのですが、最近ではそういうエッセンスをとりいれることも一つの発展系かなと思っていて、わざとそういうふうにしてみたりもしています。新しいものを作ったときに、また聞いたことのないワードが出てきたら、それも面白いなと思っていて、見てくれた人の反応がますます楽しみです。

Glenn Garriock

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