Hiroji Kubota: The Pursuit of Beauty
Hiroji Kubota is one of the first Asian photographers to join the Magnum Photos Agency. Specialized in photographing the far east, Kubota’s journey in photography is one that has inspired many, especially among the Asian community, to document and photograph the ordinary everyday life.
In an interview, Kubota shared his first forays into photography was during the making of his college graduation thesis, documenting people in the remote areas of Japan. His pictures were published in a local monthly art magazine. Ever since then, he started taking assignments from them, kickstarting his journey as a paid photographer.
With a strong background in political science, it is no wonder that many of Kubota’s works feature world leaders, demonstrations, elections and many more political scenes. According to Kubota, his background helped him understand the complexities and status of the world, which are then reflected in his works. Throughout his career, Hiroji Kubota has captured many historical events, such as America's civil rights movement and the fall of Saigon, and has paid a number of visits to North Korea on photographic expeditions.
Though ultimately, Kubota is one photographer who chases after beauty. In the HOME Project interview by Magnum Photos, he emphasized on beauty, in which he said “Taking images that are not beautiful, I would be cheating”. It is evident and undeniable that his photographs are all about the beauty in everyday life.
From fishermen at work to people praying in the temple, Kubota focuses on capturing beauty in the mundane. His images portrayed and reflected Kubota’s love for humanity, an interest in people’s daily life, a passion for life. “I feel most touched when ordinary people share their stories with me. Therefore, I only photograph ordinary people, ordinary people are everyone”, says Kubota.