Visualspace: Real Moments, Real Stories

Spotlight / Creative Spotlight
Yuri Endo
Dec 11, 2023
Getty Images' VisualGPS research has brought to light a stark reality—less than 10% of the most popular images from the Asia‑Pacific region genuinely showcase the diverse richness of Asian and Pacific cultures. In response to this revelation, visualspace, an agile photographer and videographer duo based in Talin, Estonia, actively challenges these stereotypes, offering a nuanced and genuine portrayal that reflects the true diversity within Asian communities.

Real moments, real stories: Tracing visualspace's evolution
Adding to their representation of local lifestyle in Estonia and Europe, visualspace's Asian representation narrative originated from a collaboration with a Japanese friend in Talin, evolving from documenting daily activities to a profound exploration of the multifaceted nature of Asian life in Estonia. Broadening their scope to include not only the Japanese but also the Korean, Chinese, and Indian diaspora in Estonia, their recent series immerses viewers in gatherings for Korean BBQ, providing a vivid reflection of the growing Asian population in Estonia. Additionally, visualspace has spotlighted Asian female leaders at a tech conference, aligning their lens with Estonia's global tech leadership.
Preproduction excellence: Nurturing genuine moments through research
At the core of visualspace's creative process lies meticulous preproduction, guided by VisualGPS research. Extensive cultural dives, from mastering the art of cooking Chasu to unraveling the intricacies of popular Christmas and New Year's traditions in Japan, serve as the cornerstone of their shoots. Their objective is clear—to capture genuine emotions, authentic connections, and the everyday lives of individuals, ensuring their content resonates with relatability, aligning effectively with evolving consumer preferences.

The power of video: A seamless fusion of mediums
VisualGPS research emphasizes the exceptional power of video in illustrating the usage and benefits of products and services across generations. Recognizing this significance, visualspace strategically shifted its focus, prioritizing video production alongside images. With a longstanding friendship since university, the duo seamlessly coordinates during shoots, capturing both video and images simultaneously without disrupting the scene's natural flow.
This collaborative approach enriches their storytelling, offering customers flexibility in choosing the medium that best suits their needs. In video production, they prioritize normal speed, enhancing the authenticity of subjects and actions. Their adeptness in harmonizing colors and style across both mediums creates a unique synergy, vividly bringing images to life in contrast to video‑centric captures. Furthermore, their exceptional communication skills with models, incorporating local language and humor, enable even first‑time models to act naturally, as if cameras aren't present. Their emphasis on camera movements, framing, and details adds depth, providing a broader perspective and an intimate 'fly‑on‑the‑wall' ambience to each scene.
Spotlight on Asian women in sports
Visualspace boldly addresses the gender gap in sports photography, aligning with VisualGPS research advocating a shift in media representation. VisualGPS research has identified prevalent stereotypes in the representation of women in sports. Often, patterns seen in visuals downloaded by businesses focus more on how female athletes look rather than showcasing their skills. This promotes stereotypes that women's worth in sports is primarily about appearance, not their athletic abilities. Visualspace actively challenges these stereotypes, presenting a more authentic and empowering portrayal of women in sports, highlighting their skills, strengths, and diverse ages. A dedicated research trip to Tokyo unfolded a captivating series, starting with the portrayal of female skateboarders. The lens then turned to a Japanese karate class, featuring female participants aged 6 to 75. The series authenticates the multifaceted nature of women in sports, breaking stereotypes with a cast of diverse ages practicing karate regularly in the same school.

Visualspace's body of work challenges stereotypes and celebrates diversity of Asian communities in everyday life, sports, and beyond that we don't often see. This is through exhaustive research with genuine storytelling, visualspace has emerged as advocates for real visual representation, setting an inspiring standard in the realms of photography and videography.

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