Yuriko Nakao

Backpacked around the world with a camera as a student. Was inspired by late Japanese nature photographer Michio Hoshino. This led her to go solo camping in Alaska to take photographs in the vast wilderness. These experiences inspired Yuriko to become a photographer.

Yuriko joined Reuters news agency as a new graduate in 2001. In 2002, she was assigned to the photo department. As a staff photographer, Yuriko covered various news events. These included: international conferences, sports, nature, entertainment, portraits, documentary, natural disasters etc. In 2013 she became an independent photographer. Since then she has worked with international news agencies, newspapers, magazines, governments, embassies, companies. Her most recent assignment includes a monthly series in a Japanese magazine, “Digital Camera Magazine” themed as “Land of Gods,” which included sacred places such as in Bali, Japan, Lapland, Mongolia, Morocco, Scotland and Sri Lanka (Adam’s Peak).
Making pictures at the MJF center, Dilmah’s charity foundation, Yuriko described as being the most “difficult” photo opportunity she has experienced so far. She could not stop herself from crying while making photographs. Being in a field of unconditional love was simply overwhelming. Furthermore, she had experienced a feeling of complete bliss since it was an opportunity she had always longed for – which was to photograph human service activities that may also allow herself to serve through photography in assisting people’s lives for a brighter future.

Tea in the First Sense

Dilmah tea, the symbol of Pure Ceylon Tea in over 100 countries around the world, unveils Tea in the First Sense, an innovative endeavour by the family tea company Dilmah, in their mission to bring the beauty of tea, nature’s finest beverage, to the world.

Tea in the First Sense is an art and photography exhibition featuring tea plantations in Sri Lanka. The exhibition, commissioned by Dilmah, will tour the world as part of a Dilmah mission to share with a global audience the aesthetic beauty of tea.

This project has a deeper significance for it is part of a Dilmah effort to highlight the inequity in the tea category. A brand known for its integrity, Dilmah sought to overturn a system in which the producer became an exploited raw material supplier. In 1988 Founder of Dilmah Merrill J Fernando launched his Dilmah brand, in Australia, subsequently reaching over 100 countries in the world. Dilmah is today recognised as a role model in ethical trade.

The Company strives to bring quality back to tea and in so doing to improve the fortunes of Ceylon’s historic tea industry and its workers. Engaged in extensive social welfare via the MJF Charitable Foundation (www.mjffoundation.org). Dilmah is convinced that by making consumers appreciate Ceylon and her teas, demand for quality Ceylon Tea can be increased, helping tea producers get a better price for their crop. Ultimately that is fairer than any notion of fair-trade and is the most tangible way of bringing a smile to the faces of workers in the industry and their families. Dilmah is also working towards a more sustainable use of the environment through Dilmah Conservation which is promoting biodiversity, species/habitat protection & awareness of sustainability by encouraging a harmonious co-existence of man and nature (www.dilmahconservation.org).

Tea in the First Sense is part of a project to highlight the heritage of Ceylon Tea and educate consumers on the health and other benefits in quality Ceylon Tea. The first stage of this project was the History of Ceylon Tea website which preserves in one of the world’s largest internet tea websites, a century of literature on Ceylon Tea. Tea in the First Sense captures through both brush and lens, the endearing character and charm of the Sri Lankan Tea plantations.