Kensuke Koike

9 October 2021
Kensuke Koike rummaging through stacks of old photographs at flea markets is endlessly inspired by neglected objects from the past.
Finding novel ways to bring new life to discarded relics, he affectionately alters vintage photographs, injecting them with new meaning. After he finds a photo he likes, Koike carefully cuts into the image, rearranging the pieces and turning the photograph into an abstracted, interactive optical illusion that invites his viewers to do a double-take.
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While the alterations at first seem simple, the steadiness and meticulous accuracy involved in Kensuke Koike's work cannot be glossed over.
Using a blade to carry out precision cutting, it's easy to imagine the photographer bending over a table in his studio, splicing his one-of-a-kind market finds with mathematical accuracy into a number of perfectly-puzzled final products. After he collects the original objects, Koike sits with them until his desired outcome becomes clear. He then has one shot to carry out his vision for the piece!

All photographs of Kensuke are from flea markets. He doesn't look for a specific scenario in the photos because he makes them special by transforming. Normally, people who come to flea markets don't buy portraits because they are not attracted to posed images of strangers. He often found the photos in very bad condition, having been neglected and ready to throw away.
"ltering a unique image requires more preparation, and the images I work with are chosen randomly from my mixed archive box. It's always a challenge and surprise for me to discover the potential hidden in each image.
When I first started this project, I would put different images together to create a new one, which led to some interesting effects. But then I started thinking: what would happen if the alterations were all re-composed without increasing the contents of the original photograph?

The result is a totally new image, composed completely from the original piece"- tells Kensuke Koike
Someone can get upset of fact photographs that are now considered to be historical can be cut. But Kensuke Koike began his project by using only neglected images.
"It's easy to think about how the people in the photos aren't alive anymore, and how the photograph I have in my hand might be the last existing portrait of that person.
But altering images and redefining them causes the viewer to be more curious about the person in the photo; I believe my alterations give the subject a new life. Also, most of my works can be returned to their original state because I don't actually eliminate or discard any pieces"
- tells Kensuke Koike

Photographs of Kensuke Koike are a reflection of the real world, and by altering them he creates other images, but they will always be based in realism. Kensuke likes when the normal becomes abnormal; when it transforms into something special.
Kensuki Koike Instagram
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