In portraits of friends and acquaintances as well as photographs of keepsakes, dolls, lucky charms and other ordinary objects, Mariko Takahashi’s photobook “Souvenir” celebrates the joys and hardships of life and examines the things that help us stay sane. Born in 1970 and feeling herself having entered a new stage in her life, Takahashi looks at the people in her life with sentimental and admiring eyes.
In unstaged, unobtrusive photographs (the portraits lit entirely using available indoor light), she lets them pose and show themselves however they like, creating images that are neither simple documents nor allegoric works.
“I think I used to be unbearably envious of someone who had something I didn’t. But now I found myself cherishing those qualities that life was unable to wrest from people, no matter how often they had been tossed by its waves.”
― from Mariko Takahashi’s afterword
In addition to an afterword by the artist, “Souvenir” also includes an essay by the writer Inuhiko Yomota (all texts included in Japanese and in English translation).