maki maki – welcome 2 my room

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Maki Maki

Welcome 2 My Room

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Internet is reachable by millions of people each second. They can communicate with each other, and sometimes very private things are told and shown on internet blogs through photos, videos, writings. Although initially it was not intentioned, this is what I experienced with this series called “Welcome 2 My Room”.

Usually, to take a photograph, you have to be physically in front of the person you want to shoot with your camera. It all changed on the internet with chats, webcams and other ways to meet virtually the image of people on the screen of your computer. In this photo work I experienced a new way to take photographs by taking, with an analog polaroid camera, portraits on my computer screen, chatting live with sex workers through their webcams.

The starting point of this series of photo portraits was the discovery of a website in the Philippines. A peep show with chat and webcam. Girls and boys working at home alone, or several persons together in so called “studios”. Omnipresence of precarity. At that time they were more than 300, now there are twice as much…

Sometimes links are created, other times it’s “just business”. All those gazes, those stories intersecting, including mine…

I started taking pictures of them with my old polaroid camera on my computer screen. I used to shoot people I meet, so why not do it by computer screen interposed. Sometimes the exchanges and discussions are intense. Laying bare the feelings, the lives, the bodies… Sincerity encounters with cunning. But of course there’s the money. They will do anything to make you pay. But sometimes on the spot of our conversations, emotion overwhelms… Tears of blood…

Finally thousands of polaroid snapshots (and also some black and white roll films) were taken in my bedroom in front of my computer screen during the highlights of our conversations or private shows…Trying to give a face to sex… As always image rule as a unique weapon… We play with it, we come with it …



Born and living in Marseille (France) since 1964.

He studied photography at the beginning of the 80s and is into photography since then. In 2000 he turns towards a more experimental and intimate photography.

He’s participated in solo and group photo exhibitions in Europe and Japan, and been published in exhibition catalogs, record covers, art magazines, books…

Actually he’s working on a series about Japan called “Japan Somewhere”. Some photos of this series will be published in December 2012 inside the photobook “MONO” about contemporary black and white photographers, edited by Gommabooks together with other photographers such as Antoine d’Agata, Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, Roger Ballen, Trent Parke…

Since 2007 he is founding member of the Collective of European photographers SMOKE.

In 2010 he created Média Immédiat Publishing, a book collection actually composed of 9 mini photobooks including photographers like Morten Andersen, Ed Templeton, Onaka Koji, Jukka Onnela, Daisuke Ichiba.


53 Responses to “maki maki – welcome 2 my room”

  • What we do not see, does not exist.
    But there is a reality next to what we see.
    Burn makes it visible, a reality for us.

    @Gracie – I hope burn would show those pictures too. Would be a contrast program, definitely.

  • No problem with the “voyeuristic’ stance some may find in the essay (Hopefully, he asked these people if he could use them for a project). It’s quite OK for a photographer to be a voyeur, though a point could be made that voyeurism does objectify a subject more that it individualizes it. A case in point being Martin Parr’s photography, who succeeds in doing just that, while his subjects never appear less than human-ized.

    I am rather seriously non-plussed that the photographer did not do it in “his backyard”, say in France, if not Marseille proper. What is truly his rationale for doing the story out of South-east-asia (my contention being that in final analysis, it is to be perceived out of a specific locale, rather than out of a screen, or the internet)?

    Here again the same old western constructs about asian women (either as victims, “just-a-job” sex-workers or readily available cute objects, boys too by the way) are given the chance to over-run his purpose, which i think is to humanize deshumamized individuals by listening to them rather than hearing them (plus photos).

    PS: Hello BURN! still excrutiatingly slow to view the essays (main reason why i am not visiting more often), and I must admit I could not view this one entirely, even pix by pix.

  • Wonder if the photographer has a website. I’m a photo editor of a magazine and is considering contact him for a photo essay…

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