Gold Panda

Derwin (Gold Panda) and I met in early 2014 after Gareth Dobson at Wichita Recordings had given him a copy of my book People. Places. Things. Derwin had some rough ideas for a project – which would eventually become his third album – and asked if I’d like to accompany him on a trip to Japan to take photographs. We spent two weeks travelling and adventuring in various places throughout Japan. I really fell in love with Japan – the country and the people, their hard-working demeanour and the ever-present concept of doing one’s best.

I photographed absolutely everything I could using quite a few cameras, including my trusty Canon AE1 and Mamiya 7ii. I also filmed our journey which I eventually edited to create the video for Pink & Green. We came back to the UK with a huge body of work. In time the images would turn into cover artwork for Derwin’s album and singles, elements of Derwin’s live visuals (directed by Dan Tombs), a photography book, prints for the pre-order vinyl album, imagery for Derwin’s website, and images for t-shirts. Good Luck and Do Your Best takes its title from a Hiroshima taxi driver’s parting words to us and people doing their best and trying hard is one of the underlying themes in a lot of the photography we collated.

 

The Good Luck and Do Your Best album / project encompassed music, travel and photography, and was a really wonderful thing to to have been part of. It was an inspiring process and I know I will always look back on the experience, Japan, our travels there, and the work we produced together, extremely fondly. In essence, I feel the photography is a  representation of my first-time eyes on the country so loved by my guide, his fondness for its rich culture, quirks and design realised through the photography we took together.

 

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Gold Panda ‘Clarke’s Dream’ single cover and press shot, photographed for Notown Recordings

 

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