photo: Atsuko Miyawaki, Klein Dytham
Chris Kirkland CEO of ArtWeb has what he considers a perfectly normal and respectable hobby, standing on his head (with no hands) in interesting locations throughout the world. From peaceful walks in the country to the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin, The Artists Web’s front man takes what ever opportunity he has to get that perfect shot. And naturally when he decided to bring his business to Japan, he brought the hobby along too.
“I had to do Shibuya Crossing practically as soon as I got of the plane. It’s the place every associates with Tokyo ‘that crazy busy crossing’ in Lost in Translation, so I had that as number one on my list. A day or two after the Jet Lag had worn off, I found myself in Shibuya and thought ‘hey this is that place’. Moments later I spotted some American guy with a nice nikon taking some shots of the crossing, I just walked up to him and said would you mind taking my picture and then we got started.
“Normally it takes about 20 seconds to get in position and do the perfect shot, but I only had a few seconds to run out after the cars stopped and before everyone started crossing, still we got there after a few attempts. The best bit is that they had us on the big screen when we took the shot.”
Speaking At Pecha Kucha Night
And so now a number of months later, Chris took the mic in front of several hundred punters at the famous Pechakucha night, at Super-Deluxe, Tokyo. Chris prepared 20 delicious slides, half featuring his inverted posture and half on the subject of The Artists Web.
Always with a smile on his face, Chris keeps a record of his adventures online on www.hbm.jp (Happy British Man in Japan), and naturally he uses his companies own website portfolio software to upload the new pics.
“Actually the first ever pic I did (The roof of the Reichstag in Berlin) ended up being used in our advertising campaign ‘with the artists web, it’s so easy you can do it standing on your head’”.
On his website www.hbm.jp you can see him relaxing in natural surrounds, historic cities like Oxford, Bath; stately location, Buckingham Palace, The Reichstag and of course in locations of wonder and beauty around Japan.
Chris is currently in Tokyo where he and his team has just recently launched the Japanese version of his internet business ArtWeb. His mission is to bring the opportunity for international exposure via the internet to artists and photographers from Japan. And of course fit in as many headstand pics as time will allow.
In the long term, Chris plans to get more internationally famous locations under his belt “maybe I should shoot for the seven wonders”. On a different tact, “I’d like to do some celebrity shots – you know like everyone has one picture of them shaking hands with Brad Pit or The Queen or whoever, I’d like a load on my wall with them pissing themselves laughing as I ‘stand’ next to them”.