“November 2013, Sakai, Osaka Prefecture–I visited Sakai City when Matt Goulding and I first traveled to Japan to begin the work that would eventually become the book Rice Noodle Fish (published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain in 2015). My interest was in the community of traditional knife makers there and the idea that if we were going to do a book that dove deep into Japanese culinary traditions, some understanding of the tools themselves would be important. That was the switch that flipped for my own interest in shokunin (craftspeople) as well. After spending the day photographing different craftsmen, we went for a traditional meal of grilled eel–I stepped back into the kitchen and happen to catch two quick photos of the man preparing our meal. This photo found its way into Rice Noodle Fish and is one of my personal favorites.”
- Michael Magers
About the artist
Born in Dallas in 1976, Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist whose work takes him all over the world. From deep dives into international food cultures to intimate views into the ateliers of traditional artisans, Magers imbues each photograph with a story. In 2013, he stepped back from a corporate career to hone a more creative life and pursue his passion for photography. Based between New York City and Austin, Texas, Michael Magers is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning travel books Rice Noodle Fish (2015) and Grape Olive Pig (2016) published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His work has been exhibited internationally–from Cuba to Japan, Paris to New York–and appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, CNN, and The Washington Post, to name just a few. In 2019, he released his first monograph, Independent Mysteries, a selection images from his years on the road juxtaposed with original writing from his friends and collaborators.