Outlands portrait by Aram Dikiciyan, Chanel Nexus Hall 2013

Aram was introduced to me during the Spring of 2012 by Jeffrey Rowe, a mutual friend of ours. Everything about Aram seemed in sync. He was laid back but professional, carrying his big black cover portfolio in his big black bag that matched his black suit. After lunch, he scribbled some notes about themes and ideas we had casually brought up, in the midst of sharing stories between two foreigners, finding themselves in Tokyo and getting to know each other in preparation for a collaboration.

We caught up a couple of times after that for lunch or drinks, trying to finalize the shoot. Aram is an artist. He shoots only black and white on film. That is his craft and I respect that. I have done a good number of types of shoots, but never one like this before and I was definitely open to it.

There were choices to be made, indoors or outdoors? What theme, what props? To get a stylist, pick out dresses from Chanel or to go with simple styling? And most importantly, scheduling. Aram was traveling, I was traveling, but we both wanted to get it done, and so we did.

Aram found a lovely, spacious studio in Ometosando, and I loved the rustic, New York loft feel to it. In Singapore, we always have packed food on set usually in the form of styrofoam boxed take out or “baos” stuffed steam buns. In Tokyo… we get Onigiri and Asahi beer 😀

set snacks, Onigiri and Asahi

Luckily for me, a good friend of mine  Misato Ikeda, is an amazingly talented and experienced make up artist in Tokyo. Misato studied make up in LA, and has worked on feature films, tv dramas, magazines and celebrities in Tokyo. I got to know Misato in Singapore, when she flew in to work on Mika’s short film and then the feature project I was helping Mika to produce. Misato readily came on board to work on my make up.

Make up artist Misato Ikeda, Adele Wong

With Misato Ikeda, my make up artist

Meanwhile, Aram was wearing many hats, stylist, art director and photographer. We had a stylist on board but eventually his dates clashed with our shoot and we decided to just go ahead without.

Aram Dikiciyan

Aram Fixing up his lighting

[IMG]http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y421/adeleastridr/IMG_2868_zpscac48d80.jpg[/IMG]

Art direction by Aram

Props, beautifully rustic

[IMG]http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y421/adeleastridr/IMG_2898_zpsb9f8ff46.jpg[/IMG]We did a couple of headshots with light make up first, with my hair up before moving on to experiment with different shots.

Make up by Misato Ikeda

Make up by Misato Ikeda

After Misato put on her finishing touches, I was ready to go. I enjoyed being a canvas for both Aram and Misato, for both artists to create anything they fancied, as I trust them both.

We wrapped after over 2 hours. I was hoping for a shot good enough to make his exhibition at Chanel Nexus Hall in Ginza come April 2013. As Aram shoots only on film, I would never get to see the pictures until the exhibition.

Fastforward to that day, and here we are at Chanel Ginza with over 40 pieces of Aram’s work. I managed to catch up with him a few days before the exhibition, he was so sweet to hand deliver the invite to me. Aram has titled his exhibition ‘Outlands’ and I felt the excitement of being a part of this exhibition.

Adele Wong Aram Dikiciyan

At Outlands opening, Chanel Nexus Hall till 21 April 2013

If you happen to be in Ginza, Tokyo this month till 21st April, do drop by the Chanel Nexus Hall, admission is free. For more about Aram, this is his website.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to go through the film negatives and have the close ups and headshots printed. Watch this space for updates!

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