ROOTOTE x ARTIST Collaboration Vol.2
A tote bag that many people use on a daily basis.
Considering such a tote bag as a medium, through collaboration with various artists, we will send art to the world.
The second is photographer Shingo Wakaki
In addition to his activities as a photographer, Shingo Wakaki, who is expanding his range of activities such as film production, picture book publishing, and bookstore management, collaborated with the tote bag specialty brand ROOTOTE . We will release a tote that is an art piece and a companion for “fun outings”. It is a limited item that puts Mr. Wakaki's work on the " ruck-tote " created by the design office nendo and ROOTOTE . It was also decided that a new photo book would be born as a product of that chemical reaction.
At the bookstore BOOKS AND PRINTS run by Mr. Wakaki, we talked about his latest photo book " England – Hawaii " and the production process of the collaboration tote.
QPlease tell us about the concept of the photo book.
It feels like this photo book was created in the wake of the collaboration with ROOTOTE.
When I was selecting photos for the collaboration tote, I noticed that there were many photos from England and Hawaii. England is a slightly different area than Manchester, Liverpool, or London.
When I was wondering what the connection between England and Hawaii was, I happened to read a book about Captain Cook. Cook is the man who discovered Hawaii and is an Englishman. oh, i think this is pretty funny.
From his point of view at the time, he would not have thought that England and Hawaii had changed so much, so I decided to make a photo book with the theme of “ Dedicate to James Cook ”.
Cook is the epitome of going out, having adventures and discovering new things, right? I thought it would fit well with ROOTOTE 's theme of " Fun Outing! ~ Fun Outing! ~ ".
QWhat is the finished collaboration tote like?
Until now, canvas tote bags had the image of being thick and heavy. But it was actually quite light, which was great. Plus it's just the right size for me. It's because of my physique, but it's good that the books I want to put in it fit properly.
BOOKS AND PRINTS specializes in photobooks, so most of the books we handle are A4 or larger. If it's too small, you won't be able to fit a book in it. Also, I like the bottom gusset. It should fit just right when you actually put the book in. The "lou pocket" on the side can hold a plastic bottle or water bottle, so I think it's great for daily use.
Also, I really like the diagonal cliffs. The camera is always tilted. That way, I can run, and I can get a lot out of my head ( laughs ) . There is an aesthetic of diagonal cliffs. The shoulder part of this tote is made of a soft material like a backpack, and it fits well.
For some reason, many bags that can be worn diagonally are black. There are flashy ones, but they give the impression that they are too flashy. Photo prints can be used in a variety of ways. I think it's good to have a novelty that doesn't seem to exist.
QPlease tell us about the three works that became the collaboration tote.
This photo was taken on the Old Town side of Hilo, the center of Hawaii Island. It is a place that I have visited many times for the " relax " and " coyote " projects. I think that the impression is completely different from Hawaii as a so-called resort, but there are many people of Japanese descent, and the feeling of the old townscape of Hawaii is interesting. Also, I like the color of the sky. The color of the sky varies from country to country and place to place. I hope you can feel the color of the air or something like that.
This photo was taken in a town called Honokaa, just outside of Hilo. This is an antique shop near the movie theater where the movie "Honokaa Boy" was set. I chose it because I thought the shadow would be good. The photo book also includes works taken in the movie theater.
This work was taken while traveling by train from Manchester to Liverpool. I was on the train too, and it was taken at the moment when we passed each other. The reason why I chose it is because purple was beautiful ( laughs )
I think the good thing about photographs is that the colored material is on the outside, and by cutting it out, you can use it like a color pattern. Even if it is difficult to create the desired color or think of a combination, if you can cut it out in front of you, you can make it into a tote bag. Very interesting, isn't it?
Q How did you meet ROOTOTE ?
Until a while ago, my dad used to handwrite pictures and write "Welcome" and "Welcome" on the BOOKS AND PRINTS paper bags. My father was good at painting New Year's cards, and somehow it all started. It's a one-of-a-kind item, and it gradually became popular, and many people came to buy it just for the paper bag. It continued for quite some time.
One day, a collaboration tote bag by Andy Warhol and ROOTOTE , which was being sold at BOOKS AND PRINTS , caught my eye. It all started when I consulted with him.
It was quite popular, wasn't it?
In 2021, my first work with ROOTOTE was to sell a set of totes for the publication of " Youngtree diary ". This will be our second collaboration.
QWhat does Mr. Wakaki think of as a “fun outing”?
I think I have many opportunities to travel, but it may be an extension of walking. Roads like that and roads I've never been before are fun, aren't they? It's an image that the extension of the walk continues forever.
I don't bring suitcases even when traveling by plane. I go out with something like a sports bag, a carry-on rucksack or tote. You can put everything in it and go out without a camera bag. I've never been to the North Pole or the South Pole, so I don't know, but if it's going to Africa or Greenland, I'd like to wear the same clothes as I normally do. When I'm doing photography, there isn't much of a boundary between work and play. Anytime, anywhere, I want to keep myself as usual, experience it, and discover it. That's why I think this tote is great because it fits your body and you can walk anywhere.
Come to think of it, Captain Cook's adventures must have been a "fun outing" for him. Even while wandering between life and death, I think he had the pleasure of discovering something he had never seen before. So, after many years, we can now go to England and Hawaii with a tote in hand and feel like a walk. And I think it's also a "fun outing".
QLastly , how would you like people to enjoy the collaboration tote?
You can use it as you like, and you don't have to choose TPO . I think the tote bag is full of possibilities. I think it's interesting how freely you can use it, so I hope you can use it as you like.
While valuing his own style, Mr. Wakaki has expanded his range of activities across borders. A documentary-style magazine “Youngtree annual” is scheduled to be published by the end of the year, and preparations are underway.
The completed “Shingo Wakagi × ROOTOTE ruck-tote” will be released as a set with the photo book “England – Hawaii”. It will be sold by reservation only at ROOTOTE GALLERY_EDITION and BOOKS AND PRINTS. Reservation period is from July 20th to August 17th. The photo book that comes with the tote will be signed by Mr. Wakaki and will be shipped in late October.
At BOOKS AND PRINTS in Hamamatsu, an art tote sample exhibition will also be held from July 22nd to August 15th. We want you to experience Wakaki's view of the world and the finish of the collaboration tote directly.
BOOKS AND PRINTS
KAGIYA Building 201, 229-13 Tamachi, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture (closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays)
Born in Hamamatsu City in 1971. Graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, Department of Photography. In addition to his activities as a photographer, he is expanding his range of activities such as film production, picture book publishing, and bookstore management.
From 2004 to 2008 , he published a documentary-style magazine “ youngtree press ,” which contains photographs and texts of ordinary people. In 2021 , it was republished as " youngtree diary " for the first time in 13 years.