New Turns in Old Roads

New Turns in Old Roads


Publisher: Taka Ishii Gallery


Born in 1953 in Chicago, Rubinfien accompanied his parents to Japan during its period of rapid economic growth, and spent many years there. In 1979, he returned and was drawn, out of his early experiences, to the East as a photographic subject. From 1980, he began traveling repeatedly not only to Japan, but also to China, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In the seriesA Map of the East,which he made in Japan and other parts of Asia between 1980 and 1987,he explored what it means to see the world through one’s memories and aimed to capture, from the perspective of a Western intruder, the “innocence” that he felt was a uniquely Asian characteristic and that was also being quickly transformed.

A new collection of Rubinfien’s unreleased images from theA Map of the Eastseries,New Turns in Old Roads was published byTaka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film.

The question of how much is corrupt and how much not yet corrupted is what drove me through making the pictures in this book. They cannot answer the question of course, and when I look at them now I am struck by their ambivalence, by the mixture of tenderness and irony in their voice. Which is, I hope, exactly right: losing continually, we are also continually enriched by naming that which we have lost, and recognizing that which remains.

  • Leo Rubinfien, excerpted from an essay published inA Map of the East(David R. Godine, Inc., 1992)
Keywords: Tokyo Snapshot


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Book Size
247 × 300 mm
130 pages, 60 illustrations
Publication Date
Limited Edition

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