Tatsuo Suzuki has been shooting street-photography in Tokyo for more than ten years, amassing a cult-like following online and winning the inaugural Steidl Book Award with his work “Friction / Tokyo”. Here, he presents his Top 5 of street photography photobooks.
Rohan Hutchinson is an Australian artist who explores cities and social framework through architecture and landscape photography, aided by his extensive knowledge of Japanese photography. Here, he presents his top 5 of Japanese photobooks.
Zen Foto Gallery and shashasha founder Mark Pearson is the recipient of the 2020 Photographic Society of Japan’s International Award. We have asked Mark ten short questions about his activities in general and his gallery, collecting photographs, organizing the HK Photobook Fair and his views on Japanese photography in particular.
We would like to take a short look back at some of the photobooks added to shashasha’s catalogue in 2019 and highlight several gems our team found particularly interesting. Rather than a “best of the year”, the list below is meant to (re-)introduce photobooks we think deserve a special mention. We hope you enjoy browsing our brief selection.
With his black-and-white photography from the streets of Tokyo, Japanese photographer Michio Yamauchi has built a comprehensive and illustrative catalogue of the characters, situations and conditions that define the streets in Japan’s capital. However, over the years Yamauchi expanded his photography to include regions other than those familiar to him, earning him – among other major awards and nominations – the 35th Domon Ken Award in 2015 for the series “Dhaka 2”, photographed in Bangladesh, as well as the 20th Tadahiko Hayashi Award in 2011 for Keelung, photographed in Taiwan.
Zen Foto Gallery 10 Year Anniversary Campaign | Japanese photography publisher and exhibition space Zen Foto Gallery nears its 10th anniversary in September and celebrates together with shashasha. In this article, founder Mark Pearson looks back on Zen Foto’s beginnings and early exhibitions of (mostly) Chinese artists. During our Zen Foto Gallery campaign, customers who purchase five or more of the titles listed below this article will receive a coupon which deducts 1000 JPY off any next purchase.
Ikko Narahara's legendary two series "Chinmoku no Sono"(shot in a Trappist monastery) and "Kabe no Naka" (photographed in a women's prison) will finally become available again in the form of "Domains," to be released in June 2019.
Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Usui began his Showa project series in the early 2000s, in the midst of Japan’s Heisei era. Following the photobooks “Showa 88” and “Showa 92”, Usui recently released “Showa 96,” the final entry in the trilogy.
Usui’s series imagines a world in which Japan’s Showa era did not end in 1989 but continued on and on, until the present day…
For shashasha, Usui wrote the following text outlining his fascination with the Showa era and his view of its “strength of survival.”
【Zen Foto Gallery 10 Year Anniversary！！】
To celebrate the upcoming tenth anniversary of Tokyo-based publisher Zen Foto Gallery in September 2019, Tokyo Rumando will present one lucky shashasha customer with a set of three special polaroid portrait photos. The polaroids will be awarded as part of a lottery which will last from April 25 until May 31. Please read on for further details.
Ai Iwane’s photobook and her exhibition “FUKUSHIMA ONDO”, which focus on the o-bon dance ceremonies taking place each year in Hawaii, have been chosen as the winner of the 44th (2018) Kimura Ihei Photography Award.
Following the death of master photographer Issei Suda on March 7 this year, Zen Foto Gallery’s Mark Pearson wrote a personal text recounting the relationship between Zen Foto, who published five books with Issei Suda’s photographs—including the recent “Mechanical Retina on my Fingertip” as well as “Osorezan” and “Waga Tokyo 100”—between 2013 and 2018, the personal impact Suda’s work had had on himself, and Suda’s unique strength as a photographer.
The Tadahiko Hayashi Award was founded in 1991 in commemoration of the multi-faceted Japanese photographer Tadahiko Hayashi. While the award was initially limited to promoting amateur photographers, it has since expanded its scope to include works by professional photographers. Works enter the competition either through nomination by notable Japanese photographers or public submission. The winning works, chosen by a jury of experts, are announced in early March each year.
In “Surveillance”, just published by Zen Foto, he has invited young women to place a trail camera in their apartments. While they are alone at home the trail camera shoots them automatically, releasing its silent shutter and invisible infra-red flash in their dark or dimly lit rooms. The women know that they are being photographed, but not when, and the photographer is not present until he takes the camera from the women at a later date and downloads the images back at his studio...
German born photography critic and curator Lena Fritsch’s “Ravens and Red Lipstick : Japanese Photography Since 1945” provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese photography and its development in the postwar era in five chapters – “Post-War Trauma and Realism” to “The Image Generation and Vivo: A New Hunger for Creation and Expression”, “New Freedom: Provoke and the 1970s”, “Girl Power Photography” and “Contemporary Japanese Photography”.
With over 200 photographs and several in-depth interviews (with artists such as Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, Miyako Ishiuchi and Toshio Shibata), Fritsch’s book offers an illuminating analysis of postwar Japanese photography as well as an easily approachable point of entry into the subject.
For anyone looking to deepen their knowledge, we have compiled a list of 50 photobooks that either make a direct appearance or were created by a photographer featured in Fritsch’s book.