this japanese magazine celebrates creative collaborators, rockstar couples and ex-yakuza love stories
Kirin Kiki and Yuya Uchida by Osamu Nagahama for Partners, Issue #2
“There is nothing more complicated in this world than other people,” opens Takuhito Kawashima in his editor’s letter for the second issue of Tokyo-based magazine Partners. “I believe that communication is the key to building and maintaining connections, which is why I decided to use ‘communication’ for this issue’s theme.”
The release follows a first edition that, here at i-D, we couldn’t get enough of. Starring Juergen Teller and his young son Ed on the cover, inside features profiled Charli XCX and her songwriter collaborator Noonie Bao, and the three-way partnership behind Cav Empt -- all printed in b2b English and Japanese. Understandably, we couldn't wait for round two.
Issue #2, as Taku says, is all about communication. Across 201 pages you’ll learn about its cover stars, the award-winning NY filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie -- the brothers behind 2017's Good Time -- and how their relationship with their dad influenced their work. Shot by Nick Sethi, his playful portraits capture them faking Heimlich manoeuvres, taking selfies, practising trust exercises and showing off their favourite childhood VHS tapes.
Another highlight is a celebration of the unconventional relationship between the late, great Japanese couple; rockstar Yuya Uchida and actress Kirin Kiki. Partners speak to their daughter, Yayako Uchida, about how her parents lived separately through 40 years of "complicated, intense and all-consuming" marriage.
We also meet bearded partners in life and love, the artist AA Bronson and his husband, architect Mark Jan Krayenhoff van de Leur. From their eclectic Berlin home they tell readers about how they met for the first time on AA’s 50th birthday, discuss the changing attitudes towards LGBTQ artists and divulge why they decided to grow out their impressive face fuzz together.
Pen pals and record shop owners Endy Chen (Shanghai) and Eiji Taniguchi (Osaka) chew the fat on their shared love of music, while young designers Amanda McGowan and Mattie Rivkah Barringer of radical NYC label Women’s History Museum get astrological. Then there’s artist Korakrit Arunanondchai and performance artist Boychild; photographers Hanna Putz and Daniel Richter; and an intimate -- and at times erotic -- look at the relationship between ex-Yakuza driver Naokuni, who cut off both pinky fingers to severe ties with his former organisation and instead take care of his mentally unwell lover, Naoko.
“Partners is a magazine about how having a bond makes for much better outcomes,” proclaims the publications tagline. This issue certainly proves that that’s the case.
Partners issue #2 is available here.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.