Even though Japanese photographer Hiro Tanaka shot the images for his photobook “Bolzo” during a residency in Latvia in 2018, his photographs emit almost no palpable sense of locality, possess no obvious hint of the place in which they were made. In the bright, cold light of Tanaka’s flash, objects, landscapes and people seem transformed into different versions of their self. “Bolzo” builds a unique atmosphere, as Tanaka lets the familiarity of his artistic approach interact and reverberate within the unknowns of a foreign place.
I heard he went to Latvia. I’ve been there myself once, a long time ago.
I tried, but I can’t retrace any memories from looking at Tanaka’s photographs.
They’re nothing but fragments illuminated by the light of his flash.
I can’t tell at all what place or which situation they depict.
I wish I could see more of the surroundings, but I can’t.
But that doesn’t matter at all, does it?
I can’t pinpoint why, but his photographs are incredibly cool.
I can hear Tanaka’s voice from them.
― Koji Onaka