MONØkult Interview: Hironori Kodama

Void Lens: treasure trove for film cameras and photography lovers

Image for post
Image for post
Erin Cross. Tokyo, 2019.

“Photographs should bear stories.”

— Hironori Kodama, Void Lens Owner and Photographer

Nestled amidst the hip and cozy alleyways of Koenji, the shop is hard to miss. Kodama mans the store himself and heartwarmingly welcomes all customers with his engaging stories-from basic photography tips and camera recommendations that suit the customer’s lifestyle, to his personal photography adventures in different countries. Many of the latter center around his love for Hong Kong, where he and his trusty cameras continue to make history.

“People should know about what is happening in Hong Kong. It has impacted my life a lot, and I try to do my part through recording what I witness,” he says. “That’s what photography is to me.”

What makes Void Lens a must-visit is that aside from being a store, it is also a haven where people can meet and connect with strangers. The shop hosts photography exhibitions from time to time, but it’s Kodama himself that keeps people coming back. Through his charisma, he has built a home turf that transcends the “hipness” of using analog cameras. Chairs and tables aren’t needed to ignite passions and to keep others burning. Just a small roomful of people brimming with ideas and experiences, and surrounded by old cameras is enough.

“Everyone is welcome,” Kodama says. “I like knowing where my customers are from and I enjoy exchanging life stories with them. Our common love for photography comes as a bonus.”

“To me, photographs should not just be pleasing to the eyes. They should have a plot, a meaning-they should bear stories,” Kodama says.


Originally published at https://peoplemakeplaces.com on January 31, 2020.

MONØMANIA

For the Love of Black & White

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store