Cooking Soul: Nico Therin
Nico Therin is a Los Angeles based visual artist who specializes in advertising photography. Born in southwest France, Nico moved to California, firstly for love and secondly for the waves. We wanted to catch up with him after seeing his beautiful reportage on the Tokyo fish market, the biggest in the world. On his website, he describes himself as: “Professional people watcher, amateur botanist, and a dedicated father to two imaginary pets. I believe in simplicity and I have fun because it’s always worth it.”
How would you define your approach to photography? When did you start working with reportage photography and why?
I've always been very curious and I love learning new things. People and their relationships with one another and the world fascinates me. Photography became an excuse for me to spend time with people who have different backgrounds to me. By submerging myself in their world, I am able to learn a lot about them and also about myself. The photographs are the by-product of genuine and honest moments that I'm lucky to have shared with them.
What's the approach to the series that we’re publishing here?
On a recent trip to Tokyo, I spent a morning documenting the famous Tsukiji Fish Market after hearing that it was going to be relocated next year. Tsukiji has existed since 1935, and over 2,000 tons of fish are traded there daily (making it the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world!). The market handles over 400 different types of seafood, but it's most famous for its Bluefin tuna auction. Since the market currently occupies valuable real estate in the heart of Tokyo, it is set to be relocated to Toyosu, about a mile-and-a-half away, making way for resort builders and casino operators who plan to develop the site in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Do you have a passion for Japan?
Japan is fascinating, it's been my favourite destination for the past few years. The people are incredibly welcoming and dedicated. When I moved to LA at the age of 22 (from a tiny coastal city in France), the culture shock hit me as soon as I stepped out of the airport and it was so vivid and real. I find myself having the same feeling when I'm in Japan - it feels like a whole new world to explore and understand.
What's your relationship with food?
I love discovering new foods and flavours, but the thing that interests me the most about food is why someone makes a certain dish and the story behind it. I think it's fascinating that food can trigger certain memories and feelings, so knowing about the chef and his or her influences interests me.
You are based in Los Angeles. What's your favourite restaurant in the city?
Gjelina. They have the best everything.
Photographs by Nico Therin