Jean-Vincent Simonet – Under Neon Loneliness

3 Jul

“Under neon loneliness, everlasting nothingness.”

(Manic Street Preachers, Motorcycle Empintess.)

I recently stumbled upon these groovy photographs by a young French photographer Jean-Vincent Simonet and they instantly captivated me! This series of photographs, named “In Bloom” and indeed it is blooming with all sorts of vibrant colours, is a product of nocturnal wanderings through the busy streets of Tokyo and Osaka. But these photographs show the cities in a rather different view than most people walking the streets in those same evenings saw it. Vibrant colours melting into one another, slightly distorted shapes of buildings and streets, neon signs, purple skies and pink streets look like something out of a Sailor Moon anime, and also, for some reason, they remind me of the line “Under neon loneliness, everlasting nothingness” from the song “Motorcycle Emptiness” by the Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers; the video for that song was also, coincidentally, filmed in Tokyo where the band is seen walking the streets, under the garish neon signs and shining promises of fun that the city has to offer, but their faces show alienation from all that garish world. Therefore, I see these photographs not only as psychedelic, bubbly and wild in colours, but also as a garishly coloured fantasy world of chaos and excitement which offers cheap dreams but nonetheless leaves one lonely and lost; I have never felt more lonely than when wondering the streets in the evening, seeing the glitter and neon lights and feeling complete emptiness and detachment from it all. But they can also be seen as presenting the magic of the night when anything seems possible and one can be whoever one wants; the dream is pulsating and alive until the faint grey light of dawn kills it. Simonet made prints of the photographs onto plastic paper then washed the photograph with chemicals and that is how he succeeded in creating images with such a psychedelic mood to portray his experience of Tokyo at night.

The photographer’s page:

4 Responses to “Jean-Vincent Simonet – Under Neon Loneliness”

  1. alan 3rd Jul 2020 at 6:58 pm #

    Another superb find. Your description of the photographs and their implications are all finely developed. Thanks again, Byron.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Byron's Muse 3rd Jul 2020 at 8:12 pm #

      I wish I were Byron hehe, but I imagine I am a muse. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • alan 4th Jul 2020 at 2:22 am #

        I did wonder.But the I know a Bronte and thought it possible! They -the Bronte’s would have loved a friend called Byron- whose work they loved. What am I to call you by the way-if you don’t mind my asking! I meant to tell you I saw some works by Orchardson in the National Gallery Edinburgh and in Aberdeen(where I live) -including the one you feature They struck me then as very I was delighted to read more about them. Ilook forward to your next.And Have a look at my site -I’d like to hear your views -If you’re interested as I take it you are with your Muse!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Byron's Muse 5th Jul 2020 at 6:04 pm #

          It’s so nice you got to see Orchardson works in person, I am happy for you. I guess you can call me “Byron’s Muse”, that is how people usually address me here on the blog. I took a look at your blog, and boy am I glad I did. It’s wonderful! You write in such an interesting and fun way. Keep up the great work! I was particularly drawn when I saw the name of Marianne Dashwood ahh my beloved heroine! And Wuthering Heights as well. I look forward to reading more 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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