Schoolgirls & Robots: The Story Behind Sean Lotman’s Sunlanders

Postcards from the Darkroom Series

“Back by popular demand, Postcards from the Darkroom is a feature on Haptic Press by Sean Lotman. All images posted will be scans of his color prints handmade in his darkroom. A lover of narrative and color and travel, Sean hopes to tell a story or at least convey a feeling. He is the author of Sunlanders (Available for a limited time in the HAPTIC SHOP).”


Editing my photobook, Sunlanders, was extremely difficult. I had many, many prints I rather liked but I wanted the book to have a certain atmosphere, and moreover, I wanted to avoid preconceived ideas of Japan as much as possible, which is why at first, this picture was not included in the final cut. Schoolgirls and robots, what could be more of an otaku dream? But I kept returning to the image as it was something really strange. What was happening between that robot and those schoolgirls? What was the interaction? On this bridge on a beautiful winter day? The water gurgling beneath the stepping stones, the birds singing the twilight light, why and what? There might be an explanation but I cannot share that. It’s important to keep mystery close, to embrace it.

Pick up a copy of Sean Lotman’s Sunlanders available for a limited time in the HAPTIC SHOP.

Sean Lotman x Haptic Featured Artist


A native of Los Angeles, California, Sean Lotman is based in Japan. Having spent most of his twenties and thirties working on narrative fiction, he is now focused on photography, particularly color darkroom printing. His first photo book, Sunlanders, was published in London by Bemojake in September, 2016. He is currently working on his second book, Blown Zen Moments, which pairs prints made with the Dian f+ toy camera with haiku poetry. He lives in Kyoto with his wife, the photographer Ariko Inaoka, and their young son, Tennbo.





The Complete Works of Sean Lotman

Portrait of Sean Lotman, Kyoto 2017 by Eric Kim


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