The interviews are conducted by VB Contemporary's director, Vian Borchert. Besides being a multidisciplinary noted international artist. Borchert has been a writer and art critic for over a decade contributing with art articles in a national online newspaper. Borchert gets called upon to cover and write reviews for major retrospectives and exhibitions in world-class American museums.

Photo of artist Katsumi Ishikawa
About the artist: Katsumi Ishikawa is a Japanese photographer who resides and works in Hiroshima, Japan. Albeit Katsumi's works by day, yet she dedicates much of her time to her love for the art of photography and to capturing the beauty of the nature around her such as the magnificence and fragility of Japanese flowers along with trees like cherry blossoms. In her photos, Ishikawa captures the exquisiteness of the soft delicate petals of the Japanese flora. She has been a photographer for 8 years. Katsumi uses a macro lens (Nikon D850) to bring attention to the flower stamens and the leaves that protect the flowers.
Tell us about your "Beginnings", how did you start your artistic journey? How did your childhood influence your creative career path? And, how is your beginnings / childhood "Reflective" within your work? In regards to my beginnings, when I was young, disposable film cameras were very popular in Japan where I reside. These film cameras had no focus adjustment - hence, their usage was simple. Initially, the way I approached photography was with the idea that I simply want to take pictures with the sentiment of "I just want to have memories of my youth." About 10 years ago, I bought a single-lens reflex camera and started taking pictures of various subject-matters. I took pictures of landscapes, dogs, flowers, etc. Gradually though I became yearning for a further dive into photography with a focus on taking pictures that capture the small details along with expressing the blur look effectively. Thus, I bought a macro lens which helped in exploring and recording the small details. As a photographer, I am moved by the beauty of the small details that one would miss if one doesn't look up-close, such as the stamens of flowers, the veins of the leaves, and the morning water droplets on the flowers' petals and leaves. I also like taking portrait pictures of people in beautiful landscapes. Nevertheless, I am always going back to the flowers that I love to capture by using a macro lens for further bringing attention and showcasing the many delicate and dazzling parts of what constitutes a flower.
Image of artwork Mystery
Walk us through your day from morning till evening along with your creative process? What does a day for "Katsumi Ishikawa" look like? Where do you find inspiration in the area by which you reside? And, What does "Spring" mean to you? Let us know what is your favorite flower or plant? In Japan, "Spring" means "cherry blossoms". I live in Hiroshima, Japan and in spring time, cherry blossoms bloom everywhere. There are many rows of cherry trees which creates cherry blossom tunnels. Cherry Blossom trees are seen around water vistas such as dams and rivers, around lakes, in mountains, in parks, and in gardens. Some of the rare cherry trees here in Japan have been blooming for thousands of years. Just imagining the people who visited these trees from long ago and looked up at the very same views one sees today is very moving. In Japan, the new fiscal year and new semester begins in Spring. Hence, schools and certain corporations start in spring time. Spring for us is the season of beginnings. My favorite flower is of course the "cherry blossom" one, which is a very gentle and delicate flower. Another favorite is the "red spider lily", which is a very soft and beautiful flower. I like tulips as well because of their bell-shaped roundness and linear broad green leaves.
As a fine art photographer, what have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced in your career? And, what have been your best achievements for you personally and professionally? Who are your favorite artists/photographers and why do you find their art captivating? As for the photographers I find captivating, my favorite artist is Mika Ninagawa. Mika Ninagawa's floral photos and her portraits have the Pop effect and I find them to be very impressive. There was a photo exhibition of Mika Ninagawa's work in the area where I live - I went to see it, and was very impressed by Ninagawa's colorful floral work and distinctive appeal. (Mika Ninagawa is a Japanese photographer and director, known for her brightly colored photographs of flowers, goldfish, and landscapes. Ninagawa is the daughter of acclaimed theatre director Yukio Ninagawa. Ninagawa's work appears in editorials for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and she has directed music videos for celebrities such as Alicia Keys’s Japanese music video “Girl on Fire”) A bit more about me, I'm an ordinary office employee. I'm not an artist; yet, I am an avid photographer with the main goal of aspiring to develop my camera skills, and taking photos of floral topics I find enchanting. One of my biggest achievement was getting ranked first at an exhibition in a local town nearby. Additionally, my biggest achievement was being discovered and selected by "VB Contemporary" and having my work exhibited in their virtual gallery.
Instagram: @k_urichan