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