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Enrique Medina’s (Madrid, 1967) passion for photography dates back to the late 1980s when he began to discover the tingling sensation of wandering the streets of his native Madrid aimlessly and shooting, often guided only by his instinct. After several exhibitions in Madrid, and his career dedicated to architecture for more than 25 years and having lived for long periods in London and Sao Paulo, and having travelled through large European cities and Asian cities, that sensation is still alive in him and is accentuated once he decides to leave all behind to live in Japan, his fetish country after his previous visits

In keeping with Mies van der Rohe’s quote less is more, the equipment with which he works has been simplified from the bulky analogue cameras of a few decades ago until he discovered his inseparable, tiny travelling companion, a simple Ricoh GR, but one that helps him to blend into every urban atmosphere, passing through as just another apparent tourist and catching moments closer to the soul of what he photographs

His references range from Cartier-Bresson, Joan Colom, Mark Cohen, to, above all, Daido Moriyama, to whom he had the opportunity to express his admiration in person once he had settled in Tokyo last year

Obsessed with capturing the frenetic nature of the city, day and night, with a unique aesthetic that captures the essence of extremely dynamic urban life. With speed in capturing scenes, movement and light he is a great example of the essence of street photography that is largely reminiscent of the work of Jonathan Auch, in which he captures a unique blend of blurred, bold and grainy contradictions of passers-by

His images are powerful, with a lot of punch thanks to the use of high contrast, although he also uses colour. His aim is to be invisible, although depending on his mood and above all on his intuition he can change and interact with the photographed; the game of seeing and being seen. In those moments he does not care if the protagonists of his images know that they are being photographed. He simply captures what is happening around him, shooting on the move with often impossible framing

Passionate and curious observer of the continuous palpitation of the street and its whims of interchangeable lights and shadows throughout the day. He is attracted by Japan at first sight, by its traditions, culture, architecture and especially, by its inhabitants, on whom he focuses his scenes. Seduced by what is so unknown in the West, his photographs are a glimpse of this country in which the human focal point is the most important one, which a world that is sometimes radically different from my own

In many cases, his photographs have an ironic and humorous component, an at the same time tremendous respect for the protagonists of his shots. Scenes that appear and disappear, captured images that remain in the air, and the desire to perpetuate these unique moments. He seeks the abstract movement of counterpoint within a free space. His photos can seem eccentric and at the same time very subtle as the photographer himself. They contain attention-grabbing tonal contrasts denoting the strength of light and the lack of it

During the last 2 years and after discovering Mark Cohen’s way of working, he began to experiment with the use of flash, in broad daylight, with which he achieved effects that were often unreal and dreamlike in their beauty. He plays as if the characters of his photographs were actors without a script. Disciplined and relentless photography. Although it is taken in apparently uninteresting places, something catches his attention and brings his gaze closer to the concept of full observation, finding the meaning of each story 

Enrique probably wants to transmit his eccentricism to what is photographed and sometimes he unknowingly achieves simple and discreet scenes in silence like a haiku. Shots unexpected even for the photographer himself, that live by themselves and breathe through the soul of the gazes of their characters and that show his never-ending curiosity for what surrounds him

He tirelessly investigates to discover his environment, trying to understand the variety of this mobile variety and often insensitive society. His naturalness and order stand out, with that particular sense of rhythm to narrate his stories. He lives with and accompanies the subjects who are the protagonists until they become an integral part of the story. His most personal facet is the same restlessness he has for living and showing these movements through his eyes

In Tokyo, he wanders, guided by the light, wandering, sometimes between the sparkling crossroads of Shibuya, others investigating the less-than-honourable districts of Shinjuku, those that are not very visible to the Western eye, others he lets himself be seduced by the luxury of Ginza, looking for glimpses far from that world. Tokyo is a constant discovery for him every day and he doesn’t rest, he shoots again and again with this compact, unspectacular camera. Sometimes he frames, but not always, sometimes he focuses, but not always. He seeks to surprise himself and to be surprised by his surroundings. He has no fixed plan, he waits for a fortuitous collision with perhaps that moment he wishes to stop. He walks without noticing time, he keeps on shooting, and it is his therapy. Like a stray dog, when he detects something, his body tenses and he presses the shutter button in a reflex action. Again and again. That’s his ritual 

Over the years, he feels more and more free and moves away from elegant geometries and prefers to provoke, to step out of the established, to shoot and to discover the magic of what is captured later. With impossible angles, he surprises and hits the viewer with moving, high contrasts, coarse-grained, abstract scenes and misaligned geometries, like a catalogue of formal errors. But on the other hand, they are photographs full of life, in which we are afraid to recognise ourselves

In short, Enrique’s work is an exercise of free photography in which he expresses his love for Japan from all its angles, especially from the human one     


                                                                                                                                                                           Jinhee Kim   2019













  • Fujifilm X-T3o ii
  • Ricoh GRII
  • Fujifilm X1ooV
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • Nikon D9o