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Motoi Shoji


Tokyo, Japan

Motoi Shoji was born in the Old Town near Asakusa and grew up in the suburbs. They headed to the United States for music college in Boston, but are still based in Tokyo.

The style of work Motoi produces is so complexly balanced.

Pieces are often very dark with the light content shining through, or neon bright with the dark aspects creating immense depth. Their initial interest in street photography began after quitting BMX riding after being injured. While they were already shooting films and photos, they were looking for something to throw their energy into after losing BMX, Motoi Shoji took inspiration from some friends who were creating amazing street photography. Taking inspiration in everything they see; Motoi Shoji often gets asked if they take inspiration from classic sci-fi and cyberpunk films – even though they have never seen them!

A common theme in artworks in their gallery is that of reflection.

These pieces often feature a rained on street, the pools of water reflecting the neon lights above in an erie doubling of the busyness of life.

The creative process is a time consuming one.

Motoi Shoji will walk around the streets of Many of the pieces from Motoi Shoji which have been featured on Ecstase have exemplified this technique. The narrowness of the alleyways creates the perfect frame for the life which goes on within them, and which Motoi captures in crisp detail. Tokyo looking for an aesthetic and narrow street – where they sit and wait for something to happen!

Part of what makes these photographs so special, is the ability to find space in the hectic fullness of a busy life. Amidst the crowds and cables, the lights and window, Motoi Shoji finds a moment that could so easily be missed.