Seeing the World through Mikko’s Lens (since he was 12 YO)

Mikko at Burning Man 2017

Today Mikko turns 16. I know him to be the kid with the utmost sensitivity towards others, wondrous sensibility for the world he experiences every day, and just incredible common sense since he was a little guy (more than I will ever have). In celebrating him, I’ve been wanting to celebrate something that he’s been dedicated and focused on for a while now, something that represents and manifests that sensitivity, sense, and sensibility Mikko has.

Mikko has demonstrated a keen vision to capture the world around him since he was 12 with his first camera, an iPhone 5c from NaiNai and YeiYei, followed up with my old Fuji x-20 enthusiast manual camera that he mastered and manipulated to nth degrees, and right now with his latest tool Fuji’s XT2 from NaiNai YeiYei the kid’s showing more promise than I ever did in college. Sure, today there’s an incredible learning curve kids have now with an infinite roll of shots, immediate feedback loop from screen displays, and exponential sharing with likes and comments. I didn’t see my images for a couple months till I was done with all 24 frames with my Kodak 110 Instamatic when I was 11 or even waiting a couple weeks when I got from my NaiNai my Nikon N90 at 16. No matter what, it still takes seeing and the capacity to convert technical prowess into creative vision.

His individual images are now taking on the beginning of an oeuvre told in stories woven together threads of images (Japanese and English). They capture both strangers and the most intimate of people, familiar and foreign places/spaces and things, his life at home in Southern California and Tokyo, and his journeys from Middle America to Burning Man to Alaska, from the Caribbean to Maharishi University to India, from Taiwan to Tahiti to Thailand.

So here are some of my favorite shots with link to his stories he’s published on Medium. There are many more frames and stories to come I’m sure, so follow him here on Medium to see what/how Mikko sees.