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Full Bloom

A local artist’s photos are more than just pretty pictures.



joSon wasn’t destined to be an artist. When he was growing up in Asia, art was not high on the list of professions that parents envisioned for their children.

At age 10, joSon entered a Buddhist monastery to become a monk. As he pursued his calling, he took photos of religious events at the monastery.

At 18, his Buddhist masters, recognizing joSon’s interest, suggested he leave the monastery and follow a more creative path. Now a commercial photographer in Emeryville, joSon has filled his studio with flowers.

“My work is based on the values of the temples,” he says. “I love the beauty of life. I don’t do dark photography. It’s just not who I am.”

The flowers that fill his new coffee-table book, joSon: Intimate Portraits of Nature, were a natural choice.

“The color, the texture, the exoticism of flowers is like a chocolate chip cookie for your eyes,” he says. “When I see them, I can’t resist.”

From orchids and tulips to magnolias, this flower lover searched high and low for his subjects.

“I get some flowers from flower shops, but mostly they are from people’s yards,” he says. “I’m not a big fan of flower shops. The flowers are too common, and often it’s hard
to find a perfect flower since they travel around.

“Flowers are so easy to damage; for the eyes, it’s OK, but the camera lens can see everything.”

Flowers provide a visual appeal, yes, but to joSon, the blooms are more than beautiful.

“Flowers are like a missing language,” he says. “I find language very weak, not sophisticated enough to express our emotions. Flowers are another layer of expression.”

To order the book, visit josonstudio.com. Get a sneak peek at his next project in our gallery below or click here to view more.


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