"The Japan Diaries" by BJ and Richeille Formento

BJ and Richeille Formento is a husband-wife team that have made an art of their unique strain of photography. Exuding an eerie sensuality combined with a narrative cinematic sensibility, the ambiguous nature of the characters and scenarios remind us of David Lynch and Hopper-esque landscapes. BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines, studied in San Francisco and moved to New York in 1999. Richeille Formento was born in London and attended the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer in the fashion industry. They split their time between NYC and Miami with their 3 Siamese cats.

Richeille for The Artbo:

I had a crazy fascination with Japan and always wanted to go there. I had a poster of Mount Fuji on my wall when I was a kid. I used to go to travel agencies and get their old posters. I knew I wanted to show Japan with the kimono, but I also wanted to introduce a little bit of the 1950s from our first body of work. So it was the '50s postwar Japan kind of look that I wanted to incorporate. For instance, after the war, Japan opened up a trade in these cheap little pearl collars. You'd add them to a cardigan or a sweater. So we used these in a shot. In the “Japan Diaries“, our focus is on ambiguity and eroticism in Japanese culture, as well as capturing moments of quiet unease and melancholy. It was spellbinding to immerse ourselves in this extraordinary culture that has only been open to the rest of the world since the 1850’s. The many underlying tones and sub cultures made us feel like we were in a floating world of emotional, psychological and physical potential, which we tried to capture in our pictures. We tried to blur the aesthetics between the customs of traditional Japanese culture and the extreme modernity of the fantastical, cosmopolitan hub that Tokyo has become. These photos project a sense of longing, melancholy, and a soft apprehension.