Parisian-born photographer Emmanuel Guillaud lives and works in Tokyo. In 2005, he became the first occidental to receive the Tokyo Wonderwall award, a prize awarded every year to 10 promising artists by the City of Tokyo, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and the Metropolitan Museum of Photography. “In photography, hazard plays its part,” Guillaud explains. “One can always take a ‘good’ picture—whatever that means—by chance, but there is a point when you realize it is not about trying your luck several times. If you want to build a serious body of work you need to consciously invest all your life into it.”
Guillaud’s artistic sensibility has been influenced by a variety of works, including, as he cites, plays by Robert Wilson and Klaus Maria Gruber, writings by filmmaker Robert Bresson, and films by Kenji Mizoguchi. “In a way, I have always been attracted by material dealing with loneliness,” he says.
His latest work, a photo installation, continues the exploration of these themes. “I am engaged in a long work made around places where, at night, men wander, wait, and cruise. People say they come there for sex, but what they are really looking for is a bit of human warmth,” he asserts. “The interesting bit is that men go there, wait for sometimes hours, and usually go back alone, often without having done anything, and, even less, without creating any connection. My work is concentrated on this waiting.”