Hiro Tanaka started his career in photography after he won the 1st prize at a lottery machine in Tokyo and a free trip to USA. It was the first time he visited North America and he befriended members and fans of different hardcore and punk bands. He ended up accompanying them on the tours across the country, starting in the 1990s. In 2012, 3 years after settling in California, he published 108 color photographs that he took during the tours across the USA under the title DEW DEW DEW Its. In this series, Tanaka captures energy driven moments by using the flash frequently to avoid blur, intensify the action and visual perception. In every situation, he manages to communicate efficiently the immediate experience.
When you are in a band, the pace of life is increased, experiences accelarated. You travel with the same group of people to a different city every day, play your songs to a new set of people, some of whom you met afterwards. Then you wake up and do it all over again. Everything can be both familiar and new, as there’s a lot of repetition in your activity, but the backdrop is perpetually shifting.
A friend once described it like going up into space for what seems like an eternity, then returning tired and older to a world where everything is exactly as it was when you left.You try to place what it is that is different, and you realize it’s you. You’ve had hundreds if fleeting instances compressed into a short time. You’ve met countless people, most of whom you will never see again. You’ve seen cities and rooms you might never return to, at least not in the same capacity.
In between all these experiences are the tiny moments that Hiro has artfully captured with his camera. They are an observation of the times when and where you are alone, or with your friends playing music, traveling around in a van sleeping on couches, and laughing. They are the times before soundcheck, the times wandering around in a boring city, they are the crazy dog in the kitchen where you are sleeping tonight. They are the idiosyncrasies of american towns and cultures seen through the eyes of a foreigner. They are the weird and fascinating object on the table. They are what you can’t believe happened last night ! They are the beautiful moments when everything magically lines up to create an incredible image, and they are what we bring back from our time in space.