TAO OKAMOTO 15
Tao Okamoto is a woman of many talents—model, actress, philanthropist, and, now, muse. In celebration of her fifteenth year in a famously fickle business, a show of fifteen exclusive photographs by some of the industry’s most interesting new talents will go on display in New York tonight in a show set to open to the public tomorrow for one day only. Okamoto, who has long been one of modeling’s most recognizable faces, says she relished the opportunity to play a variety of roles for her collaborators’ cameras, which captured her over the past year since her film début opposite Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine. “I told my agents how much I enjoyed the acting experience and how I wanted to bring something I learned from that craft to where I used to belong,” she explains of the show’s genesis, “which is, of course, modeling.”
The collected images, by fifteen photographers and photographer pairs ranging from Victor Demarchelier (above) and Ward Ivan Rafik to Charlotte Wales and Bjarne Jonasson, capture the elegant Okamoto in a range of moods and personalities, showcasing her versatility. “I was so amazed by each and every single one of them,” she says of the photographers, “because they all had such creative, individual, unique ideas. It’s quite nice to shoot something where there are no commitments on the project such as designer credits—only me!”
That freedom allowed Okamoto to take a larger part in the creative process than a model is usually allowed, although she insists that the photographers all came well-prepared with interesting concepts. “There is a different sense of excitement you can expect from the new generation of creators,” she explains. Any fears she had that the project would result in fifteen more-or-less similar pictures were quickly swept aside, and Okamoto says she enjoyed the process of taking a larger role in crafting the works. “It was nice because I could speak up more than I normally do on jobs. I could really feel that we were creating something together, which is what I enjoy the most about working in this business.”
“Tao Okamoto 15” runs through Friday at Hudson Studios, 601 West 26th Street, 13th floor, New York. Photography by Victor Demarchelier.