In “Tokyo Y-Junctions,” highly acclaimed Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo collects the 224 photographs of Y-shaped junctions documented by Yokoo all over Tokyo, from the smallest corners of the city proper to junctions found in suburban regions and on the Izu islands. Having been a feature in his paintings for over then years, Yokoo eventually decided to document Tokyo’s Y-junctions in photographs. While his Y-junction paintings are painted to include the memories and personal impressions of the artist, Yokoo’s photographs decidedly eschew personality and locality. The desire to shoot the junctions without any people in them, paired with Tokyo’s high population density and the refusal to edit them out artificially, meant that Yokoo often had to lie in wait.
“The reality is there are people walking in the street. But there is also an instant when they vanish. That is the instant of creation, or should I say death?” (from the artist’s afterword)
“Tokyo Y-Junctions” is a rare and unprecedented collection of photographs by an artist primarily known for his paintings. The book concludes with an afterword by the artist and an extensive essay by art critic Noi Sawaragi about the relationship between Y-junctions and Yokoo’s art (all texts included in Japanese and in English translation).