zondag 5 oktober 2014

Japan the most profound Bookmaking Country after the War 10×10 Japanese Photobooks Photography

... Some of Parr's favorite books were bought during his travels. "A lot of the great books published in Europe don't even get to the United States," he says. Those from other parts of the world are even rarer. He still raves about the "revelation" of a 1991 trip to Japan, where adventurous books created in the sixties by Eikoh Hosoe, Kikuji Kawada, Daido Moriyama, and Shomei Tomatsu changed the course of his collection. Kawada's The Map and Hosoe's Kamaitachi are art objects, with elaborate slipcases, decorated covers, gatefolds, and such astonishing attention to detail that just the act of turning the page becomes a theatrical event.

"The number of good books coming out of Japan continues to amaze me," Parr remarks. "I find things from the sixties and seventies that I've never heard of before. And why not? Japan, the most profound bookmaking country after the war, was entirely overlooked by America and Europe until recently. It just beggars belief, and it highlights how subjective the history of photography has been." Since so much of that history is contained in photobooks, Parr's private collection and his two-volume survey are significant steps in opening up the canon ...
... Martin Parr: I would like to mention two books. To my mind, the most influential and radical photo book published in the last century was William Klein’s New York. Unlike Robert Frank’s equally influential The Americans, Klein succeeded in changing the way photographers created books. His radical approach to design, his ability to capture energy and dynamism in his photography, all the effects of his work rippled across the world; you could see it in Argentina, in Portugal, all the way to Japan. During the sixties and seventies, while Europe stuck to the conventions of the photo book – with two white pages and a picture on the right, such a hallow, respectfully beautiful format – Japan was throwing out those rules. Japanese photographers adopted Klein’s spirit and used it to change the way of presenting books entirely. Daido Moriyama’s Bye Bye Photography for example was as radical as Klein’s New York because he tried to tear up the rules of conventional photography. He threw away his negatives, he scratched them and made this energetic book, which took Klein’s idea one step further. So Bye Bye Photography is probably my favourite photo book. But we should always keep in mind how radical Klein’s book was in 1956, and how radical it still is today. It forever changed the way photographers make books ...


This evening, I did a talk event with the writer Akiko Otake at the Educational Foundation Bunka Gakuen. Folks in Japan repeatedly ask me what is the difference between Japanese and Western photobooks, as one audience member asked this evening, to which I replied:
The western photobook, general speaking, is an assembly of reproductions. At some point the photograph made a master set of prints and the work of the publisher is to create something that approaches as closely as possible those prints. 
The photobook in Japan, on the other hand, is not viewed as a series of reproductions. Instead, it is through the form of the photobook (or the magazine!) that the image is given a form (ink resting on the paper’s surface). It is that duality of the image in its printed printed (mediated) form that makes the photobook in itself the photographer’s work. In this sense, each photobook, though is produced in lots of thousands, is itself an original. That level of photobook culture is what distinguishes how the photobook is understood/consumed in Japan versus the west. 
Also, I find that many if not most photographers in Japan are comfortable with their work remaining ambitious and/or inscrutable. It’s not that they are putting on airs or trying to be cool. It has more to do with being comfortable with indecision, lack of resolution, the breakdown of categorization. This all has to do more with the differences in culture as reflected through the form of the photobook. 
Even though the magazine culture here in Japan is drying up, I still see a lot of folks inheriting the legacy of the masters.
Martin Parr \ Japan from Books Are Nice on Vimeo.

10×10 Japanese Photobooks
Edited by Matthew Carson, Michael Lang, Russet Lederman and Olga Yatskevich. New York: 10×10 Photobooks in association with International Center of Photography and Photobook Facebook Group, 2014.
4to.; illustrated throughout in color and B+W; French-fold pages and 20 gatefolds in Japanese binding; Hardcover illustrated boards. 9.5×6.5 in (24×17 cm).
Limited First Edition of 400.Text in English and Japanese by Akira Hasegawa, Atsushi Fujiwara, Dan Abbe and Eric Miles. Photography by Mathieu Asselin, Jeff Gutterman and Olga Yatskevich. Design by SYB. Lithography by Colour & Books. Printed by Mart.Spruijt, Amsterdam. ISBN: 978-0-692-20866-3.

About the New 10×10 Japanese Photobooks Publication

Printed in a limited numbered edition of 400, this “book on books” presents selections by twenty photobook specialists.
As a catalog associated with the traveling 10×10 Japanese Reading Room and Online space, the book offers an in-depth visual investigation of twenty highlighted books – one from each specialist’s selection of ten books – and a visual appendix that documents all 200 Japanese photobooks.

Designed by the Dutch graphic design studio SYB (designer of Viviane Sassen’s Flamboya and Carolyn Drake’s Two Rivers) with lithography and technical supervision by Colour & Books, 10×10 Japanese Photobooks lavishly presents the highlighted books across multiple full-page wrap-around spreads with selector commentaries. Texts include the last essay by the late Akira Hasegawa (photo editor of Masahisa Fukase’s Ravens), an interview by writer Dan Abbe with photographer and Asphalt editor Atsushi Fujiwara, and an historical overview by photo-eye book specialist Eric Miles.

10x10 Japanese Photobooks from Mathieu Asselin on Vimeo.


España: Grand Tarde, Fiesta, Vaya con Dios.

Tokyo: Kyuryu-Do, (1969). First Edition. Large quarto. With a matching booklet: The Promised Journey (text in Japanese) laid in. SIGNED and briefly inscribed by Narahara in Japanese to Hiromu Hara, art director of Front - a 1940s era propaganda magazine. Narahara's paean to Spain, broken into three sections: the bull fight, the urban landscape, and the countryside. Designed by Mitsuo Katsui, with full-page and gate-folded black and white photographs, grainy and lifelike, devoid of text. Near fine in thick illustrated boards with pink and green endpapers, housed in a very good illustrated slipcase, worn a bit at the openings and edges. The booklet, with endpapers of a map of Spain, is near fine in wrappers. A lavish and visually stunning production.

entropix by Taisuke Koyama

Published: Artbeat Publisher, Japan 2009
Language: Japanese
Soft Cover in a slip case
ISBN#: 978-4-902080-15-5
128 pages 11 x 9 inch
Edition: First Edition
This book is a series of visual fragments, seemingly haphazard abstractions that still retain a link to their subject (paint peeling, pink fabric, tarmac, sheet metal). The images are highly detailed, feeling like microscopic, molecular studies of the surfaces of the city. Art direction and design by Hideki Nakajima.
Taisuke Koyama - Entropix from Matej Sitar on Vimeo.

TKY. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. Aperture, NY, 2011. 20 gatefold pages. Quarto (9.25 x 11.25 in./23.5 x 8.5 cm.) Limited to 500 Signed and numbered copies. 40 photocopied images. Staple-bound in a silk screen printed paperback cover. 

Machi. Photographs by Yutaka Takanashi. Tokyo, 1977. Unpaged. Folio. White cloth with inset printed paper labels. 12 pp. location map with laid-in (text in Japanese). Original acetate jacket. Cardboard slipcase with printed paper labels (not shown). Numerous full-page and fold-out color reproductions. Also laid in is an announcement card for Takanahi's 1983 exhibition at the Zeit-Foto Salon in Tokyo plus the publisher's insert. 

Along with Daido Moriyama and others, Yutaka Takanashi founded the short-lived but enormously influential group Provoke in 1968. This rare volume is a follow-up to his 1974 masterpiece To the City (recently re-presented in the Errata Editions Books on Books series). Prior to his involvement with Provoke, Takanashi was a leading commercial photographer at the Japan Design Center. 

Fulfilling the aim of Provoke to "capture...the shards of reality that existing language cannot possibly grasp, and to aggressively confront language and confront thought with a variety of data," Takanashi's fragmented color compositions capture the multi-layered reality of Tokyo through unexpected juxtapositions and dramatic lighting. Bold shadows and an intensely moody color palette highlight a plenitude of contemporary detail--signage, products, cars, but never people--in Tokyo neighborhoods that were soon to disappear in the economic boom of the 1980s. Picture the compositions of Friedlander with the searching eyes of Evans and Atget and you come close to the look and feel of Takanashi's images of Tokyo. A brilliant book!! 

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