Publisher: Getsuyosha

Slight stains on the wraparound band

Shinro Ohtake’s photobook UK77 Digging my way to London is a visual documentation of the time in which the artist spent living in London from 1977 to 1978. Working as a construction hand in the northern most region of Japan, Hokkaido, Ohtake slowly began to save his earnings to afford his journey to London. Having landed with only his camera, his few personal belongings and sketchbooks, Ohtake began his explorations in and around the City. Each day encountering new areas of the city wandering in and around areas such as Piccadilly, Finsbury park and Nottinghill, Ohtake chanced upon the meeting of an old man selling wares on Portobello Market selling pasted match boxes within a bound book. Inspired by this habit of recording, Ohtake routinely began to stick and paste notes, pamphlets, flyers, wrappers and tickets into his sketchbooks. Along with his photographs and his loose, free sketch work of figures, Ohtake’s publication represents the artists record of his experience of a year spent in London. The result is a beautifully kept account of the continuos experience of the new, pasted meticulously within the pages amongst the loose figurative sketches, bringing back “the reality of those days in even sharper detail”.

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