In a land of strong traditions, self-expression is a form of defiance.

Lucas Gibson's Profile Image

By Lucas Gibson

Photographer

19 Sep 2017 - 5 Minute Read

3916
0

Japan is a country with centuries-old habits and a reputation for clinging to hierarchy. Most photographic and artistic works developed here put the capital, Tokyo, under the spotlight, but I took a different path. 

I chose to showcase an often unexplored aspect of Japanese culture by documenting young people celebrating and expressing their identities in a society strongly connected to tradition.

Friends having fun in a psytrance club in Shinsaibashi, Osaka
Lucas Gibson
Friends having fun in a psytrance club in Shinsaibashi, Osaka

Osaka, the third most populated city in Japan, has an extremely active nightlife, with bars, restaurants and nightclubs frequented by both locals and foreigners.

One night, a friend of mine invited me to photograph the party he was working as a DJ. At the time, I didn't fully realize that I was documenting the alternative nightlife of Japan – I was just registering people around me and the way they were expressing themselves.

But as I spent more time in Osaka, I realized these weren’t just images of people having fun – they were daring to be themselves in a society that threatens to exclude or segregate them.

A drag queen portrait in a gay club in Doyama, Osaka
Lucas Gibson
A drag queen portrait in a gay club in Doyama, Osaka
A drag queen performing in Doyama, Osaka
Lucas Gibson
A drag queen performing in Doyama, Osaka

The dualism of society is shown through their defiance of cultural norms and taboos such as tattoos, piercings, gender issues, and sexual orientation.

Lucas Gibson
Lucas Gibson

Lucas Gibson was a finalist in the 2016 World Nomads Travel Photography Scholarship.

Discover similar stories in

Transformation
4 Likes
Shared
0 Comments
,
Photographer

Brazilian photographer Lucas Gibson was a finalist in the World Nomads Travel Photography Scholarship 2016.

Related articles

No Comments

Add a Comment