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New Horizon Project – a travel diary with Rimowa

Future nostalgia. Rimowa presents its New Horizon Project, a series of collaborations with handpicked photographers around the world. Each photographer was to document their travel journeys through their lens, providing the viewer with personal insights and incredible imagery from unique destinations. Here we chat with photographer Sophie Klock, who on the cusp of the coronavirus lockdowns made it to Japan to document her journey. See the rich, beautiful shots and full interview below.  


Tell us about your latest photography collaboration with RIMOWA?

For the RIMOWA New Horizons project, I got to choose the destination and was given very much freedom how to photograph it. So, I decided to go to a couple of places in Japan by train, that had been on my list for a while, because of my interest in their cultural sites or their art and architecture or nature.  


Why did you choose Japan as your travel journey?

I chose Japan because after spending a few months there last year to work, I’ve felt a deep admiration for its aesthetics, culture and nature. From a photographer’s perspective I think there is something very inspiring about Japan, which explains why so many shoot work there. For me, that is especially about the colours, and I tried to capture that in my work for the RIMOWA series.  


What are your greatest inspirations?

My inspirations are ranging from a number of painters and architects to documentary photographers. For this project, I was looking at postmodern architecture in Japan and the work of Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa, who connected art and architecture with poetry. However, shooting this in early March gave the project a different twist, as being there shooting this series felt surreal in a way with what started happening with the pandemic, and that has only amplified as this way of traveling has since become impossible. 



What are some of your other favourite travel destinations?

Hmm. There are so many places I dream of visiting one day. My favourite trip to date was through Bolivia in South America. But I think the recent months have definitely changed my appreciation for the privilege to travel, and I think it’s important to realise that often you don’t need to go that far away to have an unknown experience, to see differently, to learn something new. The most important part of travelling is how it changes your mindset and you develop a heightened sensibility for what you are perceiving around you.  



How have you and your creative processes been impacted by the current global pandemic?

Because of the pandemic I had to abolish and change my plans for projects, although I don’t think of it as a loss. What has been important is being postponed and the change of situation makes room for different approaches. It has not been easy to be out of work and not know when it will pick up again. But I also feel like it has been a chance for many people to stop for a moment and look around yourself - what are you actually doing? What is truly important?   


What do you appreciate the most right now?

I am hopeful this crisis can turn into an opportunity for changes, that have been long overdue. The protests currently happening give me hope. I also wonder, if in a time when stepping on a plane is suddenly not taken-for-granted anymore, if it can lead to a more conscious and responsible way of travelling in the long-term. For example, if you fly to a far-away place for pleasure, donating towards setting off your carbon footprint.  

For me personally, I currently appreciate that the people around me are safe and healthy. And I currently have been feeling very lucky for having found a way to work on a new series during this time.