Tomoki Qwajima first met Yumi Adachi in 2011 as the photographer of a book featuring the actress. That book, Shiseikatsu (Private Life), was published by Shueisha two and a half years later; the couple married in 2014, and Qwajima has been photographing Adachi every single day since. His routine of taking shots of his wife on a film camera, developing the images, and slipping the L (3R) prints into an album, day in and day out for some eight years, has resulted in over 35,000 photographs spread out across a hundred and more albums.
Ga Ga presents roughly three years out of that massive archive, starting from the couple’s first wedding anniversary on November 13, 2015, through the birth of their child and beyond. Even with the time frame narrowed down, this meant sifting through seventy albums of more than 18,500 photographs; the 135 final selections, distilled over a year and a half, make us forget that we are looking on images from a professional photographer and a celebrity, as boundaries seem to dissolve and all that is pictured to turn more lucid. What we see instead is a husband and wife, a photographer and subject, going about their life as a couple and a family across their different sides of the lens—manifestations of pure and unadulterated communication carried out with the camera as the conduit.
Family pictures have been undertaken by countless photographers throughout history. This collection carves out exciting new territory within that time-honored domain.
Tomoki Qwajima was born in 1978 in the city of Okayama in Okayama Prefecture. He graduated from Musashino Art University in 2002 and trained under Kentaro Kamata before embarking in 2004 on an independent career as a magazine, advertising, and celebrity photographer. In 2013 he published Shiseikatsu (Private Life), a book of photographs of actress Yumi Adachi taken over two and a half years. He married Adachi in 2014 and has been photographing her daily since; selections of those images have been posted irregularly on Adachi’s official website to wide acclaim.