Louïs Rault Watanabe
Model and actor turned photographer Louis Rault’s ethereal work has marked him as a highly sought after photographer. The French-Japanese model’s first exhibition, entitled “Lambda Human,” was at the SO Gallery in Tokyo earlier this year. Rault is currently based in Paris.
A lot of your work experience involves handiwork—from working at a bakery to creating jewellery and making coffee. How do you translate this craft that is especially focused on the act of using one’s hands to create a tangible product into photography, where, in this digital age, the end product is more representational and abstract?
I am an egocentric person. I wanna learn, and be able to do as much as possible by my self. So I tried different type of hand-work, once I understood how was the process, and the life routine that involve this work I decided to continue or not. Usually I go for the next one. I don’t want my frustration to get stuck inside me, and in twenty years be a grumpy man.
I might be bit old fashion, but I do like product, handcrafts, made with “savoir faire”, this is maybe the reason that lead me to start photography shooting on film. So when I scan them, they become a binary code, compose by billion of pixels. But I still have this tangible version of my photograph, that can perish, be burn, can get dirty, but at some point it was organically alive in a way.
You mentioned that you are often between Paris and Tokyo and come from a multiracial background where, often, people find themselves in a sort of inconclusive, mediated space. Has this deeply affected your perspective in your photographic work?
Yes I believe so, it affects the way I see the world, human beings and interactions, I put a hand on my own philosophy, which keeps evolving and changing. So it will probably be felt in the way I look at things and capture them, as I am working on defining what kind of a photographer I am.
Do you find yourself more comfortable in front of the camera or behind?
Behind, for sure, as I have more control on what is shot and the selection. In front of it I have to let go and trust the photographer, but I still like it!
How do you see your photographic work evolving in the near future? Are there any specific projects you hope to begin?
I’m working on my next exhibit and on a photo book. I hope to publish books, show at exhibitions, and try as many aspects of photography as possible…and be recognised by structures that know about photography.
Definitely doing more exhibitions of my photography, around the world hopefully. The one I did in May 2016 was a great experience, meeting people talking about the photographs and other themes, the human interaction, the love, it gives me the energy to keep evolving and makes me feel that what I do makes sense, over the years I want to show all kinds of new images, places, moments, and faces.
Images courtesy of Louïs Rault Watanabe