When it comes to getting a glimpse of life in the world’s best-known places, Giacomo Bruno remains one of our go-to documentary photographers. The last time we followed the adventures of the Milan-based photographer, he took us to the depths of the Amazon forest in Brazil to show how the people of Beira do Río grow and harvest the açaì berry. His latest travels took him to Japan, which he found a fascinating country for its strong and heartfelt adherence to traditions, especially when it comes to art and craftsmanship. Of course, he couldn’t pass up documenting this particular side of the country’s culture. He did so by photographing the masters of the most typical and traditional of the Japanese arts.
Among these are a master farmer of traditional Azuki beans (which are an important component of Japanese cuisine), a craftsman of lacquerware made using various materials, a seller of some of the most prized lacquerware in Japan, masters of traditional miso and soy sauce-making, a master sculptor of Buddhist statues, and a master of Nishiki silk weaving.
Bruno did not only introduce us to each of the master artisans but also provided a glimpse of their workplaces and studios. It’s always fascinating to see where and how master artisans make their magic happen, and our featured documentary photographer knows just how to present everything in an eye-catching manner. The beautiful, soft lighting lends a clean and elegant look to each portrait, while his tried and tested technique of showing the masters at work makes the series a beautiful tribute to Japanese craftsmen.