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A chance encounter with acclaimed photographer Peter Sutherland opened the eyes of Miri Matsufuji to the possibilities of the medium. Since that fateful incident, the 23-year-old artist has spent the past few years documenting her life in Tokyo. Imbued with a dishevelled glamour, her cinematic images speak of the city that she calls home and the people who populate her life. Wandering the streets of the capital city with camera in tow, Miri’s All Stars speak of countless nights spent with friends unburdened by rules or responsibility.

True style classics are hard to find. Of course, there are the exceptions that manage to transcend the fickleness of trends and emerge as wardrobe staples that traverse generations and subcultures without losing their allure. The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is one such staple, a classic sneaker that’s inspired countless individualsfor almost a century. Capturing the imagination of creative’s from all walks of life, the humble All Staroffers a blank canvas for self-expression. With that in mind, we spoke with six individuals from a widerange of creative disciplines about their journeys, both physically and professionally. 

When did you first pick up the camera?

I’ve always taken pictures with disposable cameras or phone cameras since when I was little. But I picked up my first film camera when I was 19 years old.

What drew you to photography?

When I was 18 I used to have more interest in drawing or writing, before I discovered a lot of great photographers. I had this chance to meet and spend some time with Peter Sutherland without knowing much about who he was. I saw how he takes photos on the street, [and] his process was the opposite of the idea I had of photography at that time.  I thought, ‘I want to try that too.’

You’ve described photography as “collecting moments” before. What makes you want to record these experiences?

I always liked collecting stuff for memories ­– tickets and receipts, [so] taking photos is kind of the same thing. It used to be just purely collecting moments, but now I’m realising it’s more like I try to make my life looks like the movies. I wanna remember things as romantic and sparkly as movies are.

How does living in Tokyo influence your work?

I think it helps me to keep going on. There’s no way of doing nothing and just staying home. I need to go out and see people to take photos. I started to like Tokyo more than ever since I started photography. If I were in the country side I would be either chilling too hard or getting crazy having too [many] useless thoughts. But I’ve never lived anywhere else, so maybe I should move to somewhere at some point.

Your images seems very spontaneous, do you try and avoid giving too much direction to your subjects?

Yes I do, I always wait and watch ‘til something happens. I don’t tell my subjects to pose. I want to create an atmosphere in which they feel comfortable, so I can capture images that are natural and reflect their personalities.

Where has your creative journey taken you that you wouldn’t expect? 

I met a lot of good people through photography. I love that I get to collaborate with my friends. Photography just gives me a reason to work hard and live a better life.

What can you tell us about your pair of All Stars? 

It’s a funny story, when I was trying to make the shoes I asked my boyfriend to help me cut them. I thought he’d be good at it because he’s an art school student, but he cut it the wrong way and completely destroyed the pair. I had to get a new pair and make them myself.