Japanese artist and photographer, Kenji Toma who today resides in New York, is a remarkable still-life photographer. His images often show the hyperreality of the object or subject in front of him. He has worked in advertising for big house names such as Chanel, and Marc Jacobs, and with magazines such as New York Times Magazine, Vogue, W, and Wallpaper.
With Pierre-Joseph Redouté being Toma's ultimate inspiration, he began his next project. With such interest in the beauty of botanical drawings and illumination by Redouté's famous book of illustrations, Choix des plus belles fleurs, the next series was born. “I was completely captivated by Redouté’s flowers,” says Toma, “I wondered what was happening in his brain, and what he felt when he was creating these drawings. I wanted to trace his path by creating a similar style of visuals using photography. His series of the botanical shows unrealistically perfect images of flowers that render as if painted or drawn on a canvas. He freely expresses his love for the illustrations of botanical encyclopedias in a series as floral as aesthetic.
“His images were illustrated with the purpose of replicating the botanic subject as close to reality as possible,” says Toma. “I’m more interested in doing the exact opposite with photography.”
Each flower is delicately pinned into place and shot under the same lighting. However, each flower is then manipulated into the modern vision desired. Specifically detailed in order to represent and show off the beauty of the blossomed floret. With these photos, he has published his first book, The Most Beautiful Flowers, but vows to continue capturing the beauty of plants and flowers as he says it has become his “lifework”.
Take a look for yourself, here are some of the beautiful photographs by Mr. Toma: