We could say Ary Kaplan Nakamura’s world is a multicultural spot in the middle of this world.
His grandparents came from Japan and Russia, which fragments and ancient stories are somewhat reflected on his face, house and work.
Ary’s parents met in a musical summer camp. Both are musicians and have always been into art.
How do these mixed origins influence you?
Well, I’ve travelled to Japan, then to Israel, to know about the cultures that brought me here. In Japan I discovered many things about my personality. I always know I had them, but I didn’t know they were part of my origins. This trip revealed me as a Japanese man.
What did you discover about yourself there?
For example, I was very afraid and shameful of asking questions in public at school. I realized, being in Japan, that nobody asks questions, they are afraid of being ridiculed. Communication is more subtle also.
Why did you go to Japan?
I obtained a scholarship for descendants of Ehime’s prefecture. I’ve been the president of this group for six years now. While I was there I learned to speak Japanese and worked as a documentary director.
And how did you get to go to Israel?
Through a scholarship also. I was there for a month, while my trip to Japan was much longer, it lasted ten months. But once I was there I realized it wasn’t the land of my grandparents. Although they were Jewish, their territory was originally Russia, not Israel.
Ary Kaplan Nakamura studied Filmmaking in Buenos Aires. He worked as a director for TV and publicity. He was always into arts as a musician, a photographer and filmmaker.
What did you want to be as a kid?
First I wanted to be a demolition man, because my father was an architect, it’s all about the Oedipus complex and stuff. Then I learned music and played many instruments. In seventh grade I began taking pictures seriously.
So, now you’re working as a video journalist. What do you like most about that job?
I like to show things just as I experience them. I like to reflect reality as it is. Sometimes I like to add music to images, but I wouldn’t want to use it just because it’s cool.
How did your career changed so far?
At first I thought I would live making movies, then I switched to commercials, but then I also hated that world, and how it encourages compulsive consume. So now I don’t even watch TV.
So how did you start working for Clarin.com?
I published a photo essay on Gilda’s sanctuary. Gilda was a cumbia singer who died tragically on the road. I was discovered by the people in Clarin and so now I get to use all the elements I love to work with: music, video, photos. This is really great.
You also showed your photos in an exhibition, right?
Yes, when I came back from Japan, I showed my work at Centro Cultural Recoleta: pictures, video and texts which I’ve been sending to a list of people, this was before the existence of blogs and email groups.
Back from my trip to Israel, I also showed my work in Centro Cultural Borges: Ticket to Middle East.
Definitely, Ary Kaplan seems to walk with a unique rhythm, and that’s what we can see in his pictures and videos. He’s looking for something more, though, and we guess he hasn’t found it yet.
What would you like to do that you haven’t done until now?
I’d like to make a movie in a very short time, a mixture of fiction and documentary. I love fantasy, but what I love about it is living it. I want to be the public in a movie, not the director. Some of the magic disappears when you can reveal the trick. That also happened to me with sushi; I stopped liking it the moment I learned to prepare it!
Ary’s fantasy world in an oasis in this huge city desert.
Some things, we agree, are meant to be enjoyed without asking for more.
Text: Gisella Lifchitz