Japanese collective Nam might not be the most household name to many of our readers, which is why I was so interested to give them the pedestal their work deserves. A combination of fantastically staged photography and astute graphic design make for one of the most exciting bodies of work I’ve seen for a very long time. In their own words, “We generally make images with a fantastic atmosphere”, I couldn’t agree more – and click through to browse through a selection of images that are really very special.
Hello guys, for our readers who may not be familiar with Nam’s work, can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
Nakazawa: Hello! We are Nam, a graphic / art collective based in Tokyo. Our work is a blend of both graphic design and photography. We don’t regulate ourselves with any genres or expression methods because we want to challenge to various methodologies. We generally make images with a fantastic atmosphere.
Why did you decide to form Nam?
Nakazawa: Nam was originally formed by the photographer Hiroshi Manaka and myself. However, as we started doing more work, we realised that we could not complete everything we wanted to do just by ourselves. As we continued, creatives who support our experimental methodology have increased and here we are with the present system.
Nam is a collective with ten separate creatives – does it get tricky to keep a succinct message with so many different people and thoughts?
Nakazawa: Since each member plays his/her role, there are no problems with not being able to control different opinions. I provide the photographer with the basic theme and idea first, then we talk about how to realize it. When an idea is formulated, we then talk about it with all the members and try to expand what we are trying to create. I don’t set tan end execution at first because I want to collect as many opinions as possible. If a good idea popped out at the shoot, we will embrace that, even if it’s not what we initially had planned
Do you think your work is particularly influenced from being in Tokyo?
Nakazawa: There is no direct influence on the production itself but I think there is a strong influence on my desire to create work. Tokyo may seem like an energetic city with loads of information to take in, however it seems to me that in Tokyo, nothing is actually happening because the energy in the city has very few ways to get out – there’s no dynamic circulation. This is why I thought it would be interesting to express fantastic worlds by using spaces in Tokyo, an uninteresting venue, and banal objects. It is a little paradoxical but Tokyo is an important city for us and our work in that way.