Talking Barnacles, Yosuke Yamaguchi




“Today Yosuke is already waiting for me outside when I arrive at his local train station. He isn’t carrying his hand-painted skateboard because it is snowing, which is rare in Tokyo. I take that as a good sign. We decide to go to Bamiyan, the Chinese family restaurant version of Denny’s. It is completely empty because no one eats Chinese at 10:00 am. To warm up, I make a cup of pu-erh tea, and put some milk and sugar in. Fascinated by my concoction, Yosuke asks if he can try it. After a sip, he makes a sour face and says, “It’s not my cup of tea,” then he makes his own. We sit down and begin the interview.

I decide to ask my hardest question first:

“Please describe your world.”

“What?!? My world…? In English?!?”, Yosuke asks flabbergasted.

I nod.

He tries to come up with something, but it just sounds like mumbling, which is my fault – I should have given him a warm-up question. I apologize. I decide to ask my easiest one instead.

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Dark blue. I don’t like red,” he says, beginning to relax. “I like smoky colors. I don’t really wash my palettes, so I just mix the colors – the old ones with the new.”

An excerpt from “The Rock God Still Sleeps”, an interview between Tokyo based photographer, Patrick Tsai and artist Yosuke Yamaguchi. This interview is the first of Talking Barnacles, a new blog presenting in-depth essays and interviews with talented artists and photographers in Japan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *