Photographer Androniki Christodoulou – Spotlight Interview

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Tokyo-based photographer Androniki Christodoulou tells about her creative career to date.

See more of Androniki’s work at: www.androniki.com.

Being and Artist…

Please Give Us A Few Words Of Introduction About Yourself

I grew up in Greece where I studied photography and started my career. I also lived for a short time in the UK, for some extra studies. Since 2004 I have been based in Tokyo which has become like my second hometown. I was for many years interested in the Asian way of thinking and by moving to Tokyo I came much closer to it.
As a photographer I have mainly been working in the field of documentary photography as I wanted to travel, see the world and learn from it. I have been working on projects in many countries but Asia, and especially Japan, have been my favorites. Since moving there it is as if I am in a continuous trip, as there is always something new for me to explore and photograph.
I make my living mainly from working on assignments for international magazines and newspapers, but I also work on my personal long term projects. I have had shows with my photos in Athens, Thessaloniki, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Bangkok, Anchor Watt and New York.

Palestinian women in the Al Aqsa Intifada by Androniki Christodoulou

What Made You Decide To Take Up Art?

Since I was a child I was quite good at drawing, and when finishing high school meant I had to choose what to study, photography came up as a very good idea. It was as if life led me in that direction before I even had serious thoughts about it, as I lightheartedly passed the national exams to the photography college. My years of study were very creative, and I had many influences during that time. My curiosity lead me to do the photography I create now.

Japan - Tohoku sank by several cm after March 11 earthquake by Androniki Christodoulou

What Training Did You Have?

I had my BA after studying for 4 years at the Photography school of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens as there wasn’t any special photography teaching at the School of Fine Art at that time. I spent 6 months of my studies as an exchange student at the Nottingham Trent University in the UK and later I went to London for one year postgraduate studies on photojournalism at the London College of Printing.

What Has Been Your Best Creative Achievement So Far?

Difficult to say as I always think that the best is yet to come. Not that I am not satisfied with what I have achieved so far but I always try to improve and move one step further from where I am. I could maybe say that my best achievement is that I have managed to move my work to an international level, and therefore have had opportunities to exhibit my work in many countries.

Thailand's Troubled Border - South Mushlim by Androniki Christodoulou

General Questions

What’s Your Favourite Quote?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Bruce Lee:
“True observation begins when one is devoid of set patterns”
For me this means that it is important to always be alert and open to see, feel, connect and express the always-changing life through ones art.

Who Is Your Favorite Artist?

One of my favorite artists is Magnum agency’s photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov. I love his book on Japan, “Sightwalk”, because without showing too much he managed to capture the essence of life there.

What Are You Aiming For?

Currently I want to focus more on my personal projects and work on them more freely, by experimenting and in general by being more daring with my photography, as I feel that I am going through a period of great change. There is no clear target, only the way of doing things that has to change, and that will eventually show where I should be going next.

How Will You Get There?

This unspecified “There” will be reached by always being active, and by not being afraid to try the new things I feel like doing with photography and my life. There is no clear ending, only a direction, and that is not fixed either. Life is made of changes and art is expressing them.

Nichoume, the gay area of Tokyo by Androniki Christodoulou

Is Anything Holding You Back?

The only thing that can hold me back is confusion. So eliminating confusion is also a daily task.

You And Art

From Start To Finish, How Long Does It Take For You To Create Your Work?

It is not always the same. My photos can be something created in a moment of empty mindedness as I am walking in the city or something that is created after thorough research, organizing a trip, arranging meetings with people I photograph etc. All photos I choose to present have to go through basic Photoshop editing that can take a little or a lot of time depending on what kind of photos I am working on.

What Music Do You Like To Listen To When You Work?

It depends on what I am working on. When I do street photography I like listening to music that puts me in the mood of what I want to photograph. It is often ambient electronic or minimal techno. Some times it is classical music.

Tokyo Midtown water and light show by Androniki Christodoulou

What Is Next In The Pipeline For You?

I want to finish working on a portrait project I started on people of Minamisoma city in Fukushima prefecture. I work on this on a medium format 6×6 film camera with which I want to do much more work in the future.

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