David Lévêque · Portfolio selection

Oct 11, 2021

David is a French photographer currently based n Japan who is greatly inspired by Japanese folk tales. With his obscure and mysterious images, David creates a particular atmosphere with a cinematic touch that is both, macabre and grandiose.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

DL - My name is David Lévêque. I am a self-taught photographer born in Brittany, France. A few years back, I spent some time traveling in Asia and I went to Japan where I was supposed to stay only for one year. Now it's been 7 seven years and I'm living in a wonderful place near Koyasan in the prefecture of Wakayama.

 

am - How did you start in photography?

DL - I remember it well. I was traveling in Laos 10 years ago and I met that photographer from Paris named Sebran, he was traveling around with his Rolleiflex and it piqued my curiosity. I had never seen such a camera before. After that, I started to do some research about photographers and photography in general and I decided to try it out.

At that time I had no direction in my photography, I was just trying different things. Then a short time after moving to Tokyo I lost interest in the subject. Tokyo is great, I really enjoyed my time living there but as a photographer, the architecture, the light, the modern type of life ... don't talk to me at all. So I literally stopped taking pictures for almost 5 years until I moved to the countryside where I live now.

am - We can see on your images a penchant for a mysterious and obscure aesthetics, what is the reason behind this?

DL - I have always been attracted to old folktales and stories with entities or spirits that are not from our everyday reality, and I wanted to express this vision through my images. That, combined with the monochrome, helped to create this atmosphere I guess.

 

am - In general, what inspires your work?

DL - Movies, you can really learn a lot from them as a photographer, but mostly books. I read all of the stories found in Kwaidan, also the Ugestu monogatari, Genji monogatari... Without their influences, I would have probably never started to take pictures again.

 

am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

DL - Hieronymus Bosch and his 'Garden of Earthly Delights' is beyond everything I saw before. I like Reon too, a Czech painter who created a whole underworld called 'Argondia', filled with strange creatures and landscapes. Also Homer for his Odyssey, Beaudelaire and so many others. In the photography field, Eikoh Hosoe, Masahisa Fukase and Akiko Takizawa.

 

am - What is your favourite photo book?

DL - Definitely 'Karasu' from Fukase.

 

am - Thank you very much for your time and contribution to analog magazine.

DL - Thank you for letting me present my work.

All images © David Lévêque

 

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