A Pastel Feeling
Alice Fassi is an emerging Director and Photographer based in Milan. Alice flew to Japan for two weeks to discover the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Osaka to present the series ‘A Pastel Feeling’. Soft colors of the winter weather, the lonely and abandoned streets are depicted in the warm palette, as Alice offers the equation of the pastel color to a color of the peace.
While her photography always features people this series strike with a contrast of capturing street and city life or even lifelessness.
Alice speaks of the notion of satisfying loneliness, individualism, post-production of the raw footages, and the striking difference a person from Milan experiences while traveling in Japan.
Hi Alice, what is ‘A Pastel Feeling’ about?
Making this series I tried to focus my attention on colors, moving from town to town during two weeks, trying to discover new places, most of the time far away from the tourists' attention.
Living in Milan, I had to get used to grey buildings, grey sky and “grey vibes”. A very monotonous color palette can become asphyxiating sometimes, especially when I feel stressed and unhappy.
During my trip to Japan I was really amazed by the pastel tons of what surrounded me and I could feel a very relaxing and dreamlike atmosphere. I started to think that soft and warm colors could have a great influence on Japanese people's mood, who always seemed to me polite and smiling, despite their extremely harsh working days.
I think that this photographic series is not only about colored architectures and buildings but it concerns the whole Japanese mood.
Tell about your recent trip to Japan, which places were most inspiring for you?
I have travelled to different cities of Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kanazawa, and Nara) for two weeks. I walked night and day with my camera around my neck and an umbrella in my hand, as it rained most of the time. I didn’t want to miss a minute. The most inspiring place for me was a little house’s garage in Kanazawa. I was waking in a super tiny street, and I found it open (as everything in Japan). I was amazed by its colors and its excessive order, and I couldn’t resist entering it. It looked so cinematic. That’s when I decided to make my series.
"Then pastel colors are “peace”: they have a sort of relaxing effect. I could finally forget the stress and the frenzy of Milan".
“My purpose was to accentuate the real colors of what I captured with my camera".
What feelings did you want to convey with ‘A Pastel Feeling’?
With my series “A pastel feeling” I wanted to convey the peaceful and dreamlike atmosphere of Japan. We always compare feelings to colors: sadness is grey, joy is yellow, red is anger... etc. Then pastel colors are “peace”: they have a sort of relaxing effect. I could finally forget the stress and the frenzy of Milan.
How do you approach the post-production of photos in terms of the final color?
Post-production is always my favorite part of the process. My purpose was to accentuate the real colors of what I captured with my camera. I didn’t want to make everything look fake and over edited. I’ve always wanted to make a pastel series inspired by Wes Anderson movies. Then I decided to smooth the contrasts and give them a kind of vintage look.
There is this element of loneliness throughout the images and even when there is a person or a couple in the streets of the city this emotion still overrides the others. Traveling in such busy cities was it a conscious thing to capture?
Loneliness and melancholia is something that characterizes all my works, most of the time, unconsciously. This fascination for solitude brings me far away from the crowds, where I can focus on few people and emphasize with them. That’s when individualism prevails, and I can fancy about the subjects of my pictures, trying to make a story about them. I don't consider loneliness as something to be scared of, I think that it helps to become more thoughtful. As Tame Impala say in one of my favorite songs "Company's okay, Solitude is bliss".