Sylvester Sessions #85

Ai wears Motocross polo top.

Ai Ushijima

Tokyo, Japan

What do you do in Tokyo?

I am a assistant producer at production company. Although, I do take part several works like advertising promotion, branding, and curating projects with creators from all over the world.

What do you enjoy about shooting film and what do you look to capture?

I started to take pictures with film after I participated in a volunteer of restarting pictures from The Great East Japan Earthquake, 2011. The pictures were from disaster area which attacked by Tsunami, so all of them were covered with mud and it was invisible at first. As we preceding, we finally could see the pictures and what reflected were the pictures of family, celebrating birthday with friends and all those daily sights. I found it is important to develop photos to keep memories rather than storing as data as its broke easily by water and some crashes. So, I decided to get the film camera right after the volunteer and still now I carry a film camera all the time.

I enjoy capturing images that I found “beauty”. It is sometime nature or people around me. I remember every single moment of pictures that I have took, because the pictures mingle with the atmosphere and my emotion.

Tell us about some of your favourite places to explore in Tokyo.

I live in Setagaya Ward which is a quiet residential area and I like to explore town with my Bianchi bike. My favorite place spot for eating is “Lu-Gang” which sells Taiwanese steamed pork bun in Kamimachi, Setagaya. I usually go to antique markets when I feel like I want to explore something, there are lots happening in Tokyo. It is full of joy finding one and only vintage goods.

Tokyo is such a bustling city, what do you do when you need to slow down and regenerate?

I love to go Kissaten which literally means authentic and classic coffeeshop when I need refreshments. Kissaten offers fine coffees and it is interesting to see classical interiors. Especially, Tokyo has a lots of Kissaten, so I love exploring different shops.

What fabrics and shapes are you normally drawn to in a garment?

I like relax casual, not too tight but fits to my body and for the fabric, I like to wear 100% cotton or linen.

You are originally from Osaka which is known for it's cuisine, what is your favourite thing to eat when you visit home?

I love eating takoyaki and deep fried skewered meat and vegetables.

Interview and photography by Greta van der Star.
Check out Ai's work here.