Stay Sharp

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chest 99, Arm 63

To be Solid, to stick to the plan
Then I will be ready, to take your head off
Expectancy of life, a life time
Nil satisfaction presented to the thinker

                                                           "Anonymous", 1972

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Castle

Hiked the Okutama to Owa trail via Mt Kumotori the other day. About 35km in all and reached the top of Kumotori (the highest peak of Tokyo at 2018m.a.s.l) after a grueling 6 hour hike more or less straight up through the at first dense pine forest, then at higher altitude in the more gentle and breezy maple, birch forest. Brought my tarp and sleeping bag and planned to stay out in the elements as usual but a drop in temperature (+3 degree) and a wet mist made me give in and I took shelter in a superb "emergency hut" on the peak. Shared a quiet and dry night alone (except for a large bat and a couple of busy mice). Woke up early with Kafka the following day and the sky had cleared with a stunning view of the surrounding forest clad mountains and sky. The highest peak of Japan clearly stood out on the horizon. Walked down through a beautiful autumn forest, saw lots of signs of wild boar and deer and met very few people which is rare in Japan. Solitude is the king and enables you to open up all your senses.
Took me another 6 hours on steep trails down to the 2000 year old Mitsumine Temple (which I couldn't be bother checking out this time, too many humans around) and then another hour on switchback down to the tiny village of Owa where public transport whisked me back "home" with sore muscles and aching joints. Good stuff!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

 Press Release

/ Mattias Westfalk (Zine)

Swedish photographer Mattias Westfalk's photo Zine published by galeria de muerte / September 2014.

"6x6 Purgation Mayhem", a photo collection of people involved in the Tokyo underground scene.

28 page / black&white / 257x364mm
First print : 200 copies
published by : galeria de muerte 2014

artist info

Retail price : 666 yen +tax
Wholesale : 400 yen  +tax

== wholesale order / inquiry ==
galeria de muerte

3-32-1-3F Higashi Ueno, Taito-ku.
Tokyo 110-0015 JAPAN

                                  MATTIAS WESTFALK | CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Axe

Herman Hesses's Harry Haller a.k.a The Steppenwolf once said 'The unhappiness that I need and long for…is the kind that will let me suffer with eagerness and die with lust. That is the unhappiness, or happiness, that I am waiting for.

Then Franz Kafka mentioned once that, 'I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.'
He also gave us this “A First Sign of the Beginning of Understanding is the Wish to Die.”
As a diehard traveler just in the beginning of understanding, as a curious vagabond, explorer, wanderer, lone nomad I can not stop being the nameless ghost that walks the earth, learning to understand as I go.  Im just a little ant with every right to live and die the way I seem fit. Every breath counts, every step is one closer to the last one behind the next bend in the road, beyond the next crest.

“The meaning of life is that it stops.” 
 Franz kafka

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Legion Of Andromeda

Shot new album promotion stuff for my brothers of Legion Of Andromeda, a primitive monotonic and extremely dense blackened dead death/doom metal band based out of Tokyo, check CD review and HERE. Listen to a couple of tracks and you will "see" that this is black/white music. We wanted a feel of non-human where the music is the core and the looks of who ever produce these sounds are less if not of no importance. Turned out pretty cool I think and ended up with pretty much what I had in mind. As for you who follow my stuff here know by now, I have had the majority of my mind on other projects outside of photography the last couple of years. So it was a rather good feeling to set out into the night and shoot these guys in the darker quarters of Shinjuku in central Tokyo. This area is where I have spent most of my time during my 15 years in Japan and I know every forgotten backstreet which hides some of the coolest locations for great portrait and location photography.

Some test shots that turned out ok, but slightly too humane and "worthyoflivingalifeonplanetearth"…ha ha ha…
I have to continue on this "non human" theme, I can see that this will be something to put more energy and mind into. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A Walk in The Woods

Business-wise based out of Singapore for the last 8 months. Been "home" again in Tokyo for 2 weeks and quickly OD'ed on Political Death Metal (Dying Fetus etc) and needed to surround me with some deep nature. A Tarp, a good book and a worthy knife and you can easily stay out here for days (a 5km hike to nearest convenient store for supply if needed...).

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Demonic Squares

Shot this series with a Hasselblad 503cx, 80mm f/2.8, Kodak T-Max pushed 3 stopps. A small LED light helped out as well. Was looking to take it a bit further on the dark doomish side of this project and I think I got what I was looking for. Simple, direct and demonic.

Sunday, November 03, 2013


Asakusa was hit by a tsunami combined richter scale 10 quake last night…and the night before that!

Local bands Butcher ABCCoffins and California heavy hitter Noothgrush.

 Check'em out!

Something is shifting in the Coffins steamroller, a new sound is approaching.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Original Street "Yankee" fashion on the streets of Tokyo. Don't ask me why it's called Yankee?! Some parts of this fashion style is pretty unique to Japan. Not only urban Japan but also the rural small cities and you might actually find a more dedicated and original style than these images above are all based on. Designer made tracksuits, lots and lots of Irezumi i.e. tattoos and an in general, in Japanese eye's anyways, the bad boy look. The totally original urban street cultures like Bozozuku and Deko-Tora (Decoration truck) falls in the same pocket. I love these cultural aspects of any society and to see it showing up more and more in an otherwise western focusing style trend this is cool and more original. Check the first issue of Tattoo ZERO for more.