Life in Philly

Life in Philly


Publisher: Zen Foto GalleryGallery OUT of PLACE

Mao Ishikawa’s Life in Philly vividly captures her experiences during her visit to the city in 1986. Visiting Myron Carr, an ex U.S Soldier whom Ishikawa had met whilst working at a bar near a U.S army base back in Okinawa in 1975, Ishikawa found herself living within the African American community of Philly; experiences downtown Philly in its rawest form. The resulting images depict those with whom she had encountered, entirely unabashed and natural. Included within the publication is text by Keiichi Takeuchi, Shomei Tomatsu and Keisuke Sugiura. The texts are available in both Japanese and English.

"The city's origins began with the construction of a residential area by William Penn, who came to America with his fellow Quakers. Penn named the area "Philadelphia", which is ancient Greek for the "city of brotherly love" (philos means love; adelphos means brothers, and is a suffix attached to city names). This series of photographs was taken by Mao Ishikawa. They are of Philadelphia as she saw it in 1986. They share something in common with the origins of the city's name. The subjects of her photographs and their families accept her as she is, a lone photographer visiting from a far-off island. Here all their humanity is revealed, her photos either capturing the mundane routine of daily life, the partying, husbands and wives squabbling, or having sex. "

  • excerpt from Keiichi Takeuchi's essay “Spirit of Philly”
Keywords: Snapshot Portraiture


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Book Size
255 × 360 mm
64 pages
2-colour B/W offset printing, stapled binding, shrink wrapped
Publication Date

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