Kaz Senju was there to get the best bear photos in Taipei. Read more below.
Taipei is one of the hottest Asian cities for LGBTQ folks. It’s the first city in Asia to pass protections for same-sex couples, and is on the path to legalizing same-sex marriage. The west part of the city, Ximen, has a dozen gay bars centered around an old historical building, The Red House, where LGBTQ people are welcomed in an open and friendly atmosphere. To add to the heat of a hot summer in Taipei, Glamorous Tokyo produced an outdoor party where hundreds of beefy Asian bears took over a city water park for an all day event. The event was electrified by DJs from around the world; DJ Javy from Club Heaven and DJ Kuma Ray from Shanghai, DJ ATT and Jun TK from Tokyo, DJ Will Hsu, LUC, and Polar from Taipei.
The afternoon crowd was further heated up by go-go dancers from around Asia, and drag queens: Pink Grape Fruit and Gyuko from Japan. The scene was captured by Brooklyn-based photographer, Kaz Senju. Kaz has been photographing gay scenes in Tokyo, and recently published his book, Shinjuku Story, where more than 45 gay bar owners from Tokyo were interviewed and photographed. Kaz will be displaying his Tokyo series at Bureau of General Services – Queer Division, at The LGBTQ Center in New York between September 25-30. His book signing event will be at the BGSQD, on September 28, starting 7 p.m.
Kaz Senju is a visual artist, who was born in Japan and resides in Brooklyn. Senju practices the medium of photography, video, and installation to address his interest in communities that are otherwise under-represented. His recent projects include 3 Years Past (2014), a documentary film of interviews with high school students from Fukushima, Japan discussing their lives after the nuclear power plant accident in 2011. His most recent photo series, Shinjuku Story (2018), captures the LGBTQ community in Tokyo though a mixture of portraiture, interviews, video, and street photography.