Tokyo is known as the place where Westerners feel ‘lost in translation’.
This series caught my attention right away (I mean, okay, I've been obsessed with Tokyo for a while now).
By looking at those photos through the eyes of Venelina, through her lens, I can picture myself being there. At this particular instant, where she was.
The black and white aesthetic drags me into a certain nostalgia … melancholia, I don’t quite know.
But it’s good.
A completely different culture that I want to relate to.
Wanting to intrude those strangers’ lives, to follow them.
Being invisible in Tokyo surrounded by the unknown...
Here is Venelina’s journey through Tokyo.
“Here, all is in the air, it happens between the lines and won’t be found on the surface. Everything changes, transforms yet goes back to its previous form and state in seconds. Things might appear monotone then suddenly a totally unpredictable nature is revealed. That makes the experiences almost surreal to a Westerner’s mind.”
“Very early I abandoned the idea of translating and let my eyes and senses guide me. Not understanding, only feeling and exploring was my way to become part of Tokyo and to let Tokyo to become part of me.”
“I embraced the contrasts of Tokyo – physical, emotional and conceptual. I was getting lost by design. The camera was my visual recorder for the juxtapositions of places, people and emotions.”
“The series Tokyo desu doesn’t offer answers, definitions, explanations or translations of any sort. It is a journey within the layers of Tokyo.”
“The images are taken mainly with a digital camera (Olympus OMDII), some of the photographs in the series are taken with an analog camera (Canon A1). Lately, I shoot more analog – black & white and color.”
Venelina Preininger worked in finance for over 10 years and at certain point she felt the need to get out of the box and pursue her creative instincts. Today, the camera is her black box that enables her to live 'life outside the box' and create visual stories and conceptual series. In her photographs, she often reduces the world to black, white and all their shades of grey aiming to articulate and convey concise visual messages about the emotional essence of places, moments or people. When colour adds to the visual story, she embraces the colour pallet to reinforce the narrative.
Venelina's project 'Grace' was awarded with Silver Prize by Fine Art Photography Awards (FAPA) 2015. She got several Honorable mentions by International Photography Awards (IPA) 2015 and FAPA 2015 for her work.