Photographed during the autumn of 2019, Austrian artist Aglaia Konrad’s book “Japan Works” is an associative probing into exceptional architectural and urban developments in places such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya and Osaka as well as several smaller cities. Through a visual rhythm in which contact sheets in color alternate with monochrome full-page images that concentrate on single peculiarities, idiosyncrasies, nonspecific architectural moments and iconic views, Konrad explores social, cultural, economic, political and historical dimensions of Japan’s postwar architecture, with a focus on the Metabolism movement. Interspersed texts by architect and Japan scholar Julian Worrall add illuminating context and a deeper perspective on single buildings, cities and Japanese concepts. With its sheer wealth in vision and attention, “Japan Works” is one of the best books on Japanese architecture in recent years.
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