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Image: Eric Mencher, Hikari Creative

Head On Foundation’s latest project is Head On Interactional, an online photo magazine bringing you the very best of photography from around Australia and the world. It’s due to be published this Friday! (RSVP to the Launch) Meanwhile, we continue to take a deep dive behind the scenes of the individual collectives to be featured there.

Our seventh group, Hikari Creative was formed in 2014 by Iranian photographer Ako Salemi and New York-based Japanese documentary photographer Q. Sakamaki. Their aim was to create and nourish a new aesthetic in street photography, an instantly shareable and available source of ever-changing inspiration. Eric Mencher, a photographer with the collective, tells us that success happened rather organically, and as its reputation grew, its members simply went with the flow. 


Image: Q. Sakamaki, Hikari Creative 

Hikari Creative has just five members, AkoQ. SakamakiEricMarina Sersale and  Adriana Zehbrauskas, which they feel is a good number considering geography and language. Keeping it personal like this means that members are familiar with each other’s strengths. As a group, they can more easily determine which direction they want to take as opportunities arise. 


Image: Ako Salemi, Hikari Creative

Using Instagram extensively, Hikari Creative’s motto is “We are brought together by photography to affirm art as essential to our lives”. While the five members have very different photographic styles, they agree that their pictures are primarily about telling stories. They have exhibited together more than a dozen times, often with a central theme.  


Image: Adriana Zehbrauskas, Hikari Creative

For Hikari Creative, a successful collective is open to all ideas from its members and then deciding together the best projects on which to embark. There needs to be freedom of expression and opinions but built on the foundation of a shared philosophy. 

Eric advises anyone interested in starting or joining a collective to determine whether you want to be a part of a group, work individually, or a hybrid of both. Then carefully analyse what you have to offer and what you have to gain. 

A big thanks to Eric for talking to us. Make sure you check out the overview of the nine collectives we spoke to in edition 1 of Head On Interactional, coming soon.


Image: Marina Sersale, Hikari Creative


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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 are open now. $80,000 prize pool including finalists exhibition.

Image detail: Gary Ramage