The genesis of the photobook “78” began in January 2019, shortly before Issei Suda’s death, when Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi (of French publisher Chose Commune) contacted Suda regarding the publication of a new book. Suda died before the project could be discussed in detail; instead Poimboeuf-Koizumi was allowed access to Suda’s archive in November 2019, filled with countless yet unpublished photographs. Poimboeuf-Koizumi made a selection in a single day, choosing 78 images taken in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures between 1971 and 1983.
The photographs are yet another reminder of Suda’s unparalleled skill and aesthetic sensibilities as a photographer. His trademark deep and contrast-rich black-and-white photos of varied subjects – from portraits to street signs or flowers – paint the world with humor and Suda’s human spirit, adding a hint of strangeness and otherworldliness to familiar everyday scenes.
“His vision, quirky and with a touch of humor, focused primarily on urban settings inhabited by children whose rules of play seem to baffle the world of adults. The everyday becomes mysterious, the mundane feels exceptional. It was only upon our return to France that I realised Suda had passed away at 78, the exact number of prints we had intuitively selected on that autumn afternoon. This book is a tribute to the great photographer he was.” (from Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi’s afterword)