We recently launched the LensCulture Network with the idea of offering talented, accomplished photographers a place to showcase their work on a global stage while also giving them a place to share, learn and engage with one another. The LensCulture Network began with a small number of hand-picked members, and we are very excited to watch it grow and evolve as new photographers apply and are invited to participate as members.

Each week, we will highlight a project from the members of our Network and publish their work on the front page of LensCulture. We hope you enjoy!

“With lacquerware there is an extra beauty in that moment between removing the lid and lifting the bowl to the mouth, when one gazes at the still, silent liquid in the dark depths of the bowl, its colour hardly differing from that of the bowl itself. What lies within the darkness one cannot distinguish, but the palm senses the gentle movements of the liquid, vapour rises from within, forming droplets on the rim, and the fragrance carried upon the vapour brings a delicate anticipation…a moment of mystery, it might almost be called, a moment of trance.”

This series was shot with inspiration from Junichiro Tanizaki’s eponymous book, In Praise of Shadows. The photographs take us to Japan, where beauty lies in shadows, where the visible is revealed by the hidden. They aim to offer us a journey into the Japanese aesthetic while also existing as a standalone collection of short-lived impressions intimately linked to daily life in the country.

It reminds us of those fleeting moments when one opens sliding paper doors, when the smell of rice straw tatami mats welcomes us, when lacquerware offers its dark depths to our eyes and makes even the simplest meal shine.

—Matthieu Zellweger