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A Peek at the ‘Climber Portrait Series’ by Koji Ishibashi

Koji Ishibashi was born in Japan where he worked as a hair stylist. He moved to NY to fully dedicate himself to the photo industry, eventually becoming the photographer at the original BKB. This Friday, as part of BKBDay, we are honored to present one of his works, the Climber Portrait Series.

The gallery is a series of photographs depicting climbers posing in their day-to-day clothes on one side, and in their climbing clothes on the other. The concept is simple – black and white photographs set against a plain background. But it’s the simplicity of the concept that makes these photos so effective.

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These photographs capture each person’s personality. There are some climbers posing very happily and playful, others are more serious, crazy and sexy.

There is one photo I like in particular, that shows a woman wearing a long dress and glasses while reading a book, looking like a teacher. On the right side you see her defined and muscular bare back.

You can`t tell how fit and muscular these climbers are, until you see that same person in training clothes. What I think Koji wanted to show us is, like they say” you can’t judge a book by its cover”, there is so much that we don’t know about people. I would never guess that this woman wearing glasses and a dress had been a climber for 15 years! Or that any of the other people, when wearing street clothes, had been climbing for so long and were so incredibly fit.

This Climber Portrait Series relates to BKB in the way that it shows how BKB and our community has grown and developed from just one year ago. BKB supports athletes by giving them a space to not only become a better climber, but to get fit and stay happy.

Climbing is an activity for everyone, regardless of age, race or gender. It just takes motivation. What this gallery shows us is people, and a sport, existing to inspire.

While guests enjoy the portrait series, we will also have live body castings in the middle of the gallery! In a project called What is Beauty, Michael Afonso will be recreating the beauty of a human body, breaking it down into 225 small pieces. From these pieces, he will make a cast of each body part from a different person and then put them all back together to form a human body. The idea is to show that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

– Daniela Lazo

Daniela was born in Santiago, Chile. She is studying Tourism in Salzburg, Austria, now living in Boston for the summer.