Yuki Aoyama is a Japanese photographer who likes to turns his camera lens to uniforms. The silly and sometimes suggestive poses in his work come across as very lighthearted and fun--and although that's definitely true, he tends to use the constraint and regulation associated with the imagery of uniforms to explore the humans wearing them. That trend continues in his latest photo collection titled "How to flip a skirt in cute ways (Kawaii skirt no mekurikata): Schoolgirl Complex 4."

The series of photos is just as it sounds, a collection of Japanese schoolgirls flipping their skirts in different ways. It is the fourth installment in Aoyama's "Schoolgirl Complex" series, in which Aoyama focuses on schoolgirls in Japan, their "symbolic status", stereotypical images of purity, and in some cases fetishization. You may think that's a bit of a pretentious cover for taking a bunch of photos of schoolgirl skirts, but Aoyama has some backup on his resume, including a photo project titled "Solaryman" (a combination of the words salaryman and the Japanese ‘sora’ for sky), which featured smiling and jumping fathers in suits next to their daughters, aiming to remove the rigid stereotype of working Japanese men.

So whether you are convinced or not, the photo collection is supposed to be taking a look at the adolescence, moods, and individuality of the girls behind the disciplined and reserved image of a school uniform. Aoyama seems to be focusing on the whimsical flipping of a skirt as a means of playing with that image, offering shots of "cute skirt flipping" in motion. In terms of artistic reasoning there is that, but we're sure there are plenty who are excited for the series as a way to...look at school girls flipping skirts.

Either way the photo collection will be on display at the Yukai Hands Gallery in Tokyo, running from July 22-July 31, where as the actual book is available on Amazon.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.