Formento + Formento
In the fall of 2013, Formento & Formento embarked on a journey through Japan to create their newest ongoing series, Japan Diaries.
“It’s fascinating to immerse oneself in this ancient culture that has only been open to the rest of the world since the 1850’s. The many underlying tones, subcultures and characteristics are unique to Japan and its people. We find ourselves in a floating world of emotional, psychological and physical potential, eager to express our interpretation as foreigners in a very foreign land.” - BJ Formento
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Formento + Formento’s Japan Diaries
Japan Diaries, this Formento & Formento series of highly staged and melodramatic images are inspired by theater, 1950’s Japanese cinema, the photographs of Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama, Edo woodblock prints, and the erotic imagery of Ero Guro paintings.
As outside observers, the Formentos’ images explore the dichotomies that embody modern Japan— blurring the aesthetics between tradition and the ultra modern, fantasy and reality. The captivating tableaus exude a sense of tension, melancholy, and a quiet unease. Each image from Japan Diaries exists as if it were a still taken from a noir Japanese film, each solitary figure yearning for something unknown.
The Formentos’ consider Japan their spiritual haven, always yearning to come back and go deeper in the exploration of people and landscape.
In the winter of 2018 they returned to Japan but this time focused on channeling the artist Hokusai and asked the question of what Mt. Fuji means to them.
This new work moved them out of the city of Tokyo and into the countryside. They wanted to live under the ever changing appearance of Mt. Fuji and experience its burning energy. Creating an ambiguous narrative with our women as they played out an imagined life under the strength of the mountain and beyond the edge of the frame.
Formento + Formento’s Japan Diaries - will be on display at MiamiPhotoFest 2019 - Feb 27th - Mar 3rd.
All Prints are signed and available for sale during this event.
Formento + Formento’s Japan Diaries is produced by Florida Photographic Foundation and supported by Momentum Fine Art.
Formento + Formento are known for their romantic and stylish photographs that explore themes of love, loss, longing and the burden of memory. Utilizing staged scenes and desaturated colors, the eerie sensuality of their style reveals a fascination with fiction and reality, and with mood and texture, where a sense of place figures prominently. Their work is about their outer surroundings and their inner landscape, photographed with a lasting love for one another. Richeille Formento styles and art directs, while BJ Formento lights and photographs. Together the duo has an enthralling ability to absorb the spirit of a time and place, creating cinematic, quasi-anthropological photographs, with a vision that references the past but remains contemporary and highly original.
BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines. After attending Academy of Arts University of California, BJ moved to New York training his eye by working with esteemed photographers such as Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen Mark, Duane Michals and Annie Leibovitz.
London born Richeille Formento graduated with honors from Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer. In 2005, BJ and Richeille met while working together on a job in South Beach, Miami. They admit to love at first sight, and were married in New York City three months later. Their work has been exhibited worldwide including a solo show at Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles and Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris, Taylor and Graham Gallery New York City , and at numerous art fairs: Art Basel Miami Beach, Paris Photo, Photo London, Photo Basel, Photo Shanghai and AIPAD and Armory Art Fairs.
Momentum Fine Art is a full service art consultant and fine art photography gallery based in Miami Florida. Momentum Fine Art represents mid-career and emerging fine art photographers from around the globe, curating and producing shows in both galleries and international art fairs, including Los Angeles, Miami, Stockholm, London, Hong Kong.