Artist Captures Tokyo’s Street Workers, Pays Homage to Incredible Work Ethics of Japan

Hatarakimono is a term used in Japan for every hardworking person. In the country’s culture, Japanese people share a great respect for all workers and their occupations.

Tokyo-based artist Frank Le Petit, aka K-Narf, wanted to pay tribute to these people who made Japan as one of the most amazing countries in the world. His project called Hatarakimono aims to preserve the incredible work ethics of Japan before it disappears in the modern world.

He captures portraits of workers in their uniforms on the streets of Tokyo. The project started in 2016 and collected images of 102 workers on the job. The French artist used a custom-built travelling photo studio to organize 34-shoots directly in the streets, next to the subjects’ workplaces.

Various workers such as fireman, chef, attendant, bartender and train conductor, were asked to stop working for a couple of minutes to model on a small stool in front of the background of fabric.

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When we photographed this Tobi (steeplejack) and three other of his friends it was on 12th December 2016, at the beginning of the Hatarakimono Project. It was one of the first cold day of winter in Tokyo. They asked us to come at 12:30 sharp in a narrow lane nearby the worksite they were located. They said we had to be ready for shooting as they wont have much time. They came, we took photos, it lasted maybe 10mn and then they left. We met one of them a dew days later and he explained us why they had to be so quick: first they are not allowed to leave the construction site with tools and safety gear so they had to pretend going to combini to buy lunch, and second reason: they were working on the 42nd floor assembling metalic structures. For our shooting they had to come down and go back… there was no elevator all the way! Usually they climb in the morning and come down at the end of the day, they always have lunch on top never come down because it takes about an hour. Thank you guys, your portraits are beautiful !!! . Portrait No.027 "A steeplejack" Tape-o-graph 2019 . #hatarakimonoproject #knarfart #bricolageart #tapeography #photography #photographie #portraitphotography #photoarchives #tokyophoto #japanesephotography #tokyoart #onlyinjapan #tokyolife #japan #artbooks #art #portraits #neophoto #artcollectors #tokyoartscene #visualarchive #artiststudio #artistlife #おつかれさまです #アート

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