6 Nov 2017

tokyo drift

One of the many highlights of my last visit to Tokyo were trips to the wonderful photo bookstores of the city. It's not that I needed another stimulus to photograph but the culture those places represent is powerful. I felt the classic crisis of choice where there was just so much inspirational work I could have walked away with nothing except a, rather wonderful, headache. However I did manage to select two beautiful books by Naohiro Harada and Michio Yamauchi.
cover of Naohiro Harada's Drifting
I am immediately taken by the images of Harada's book Drifting. High contrast, displaced snatches of figures. Elusive. The sequencing of images resonates with the push-pull rhythm of city streets.
"All these people are drifting, on the surface of the silent jet black film, my body drifts inside them; and their bodies keep drifting too, inside me."
This sense of flow is something I've spoken about. It has unavoidable echoes with Zen in the Art of Archery which has its advocates, and detractors too I admit. Nevertheless it's fascinating to see the realisation of a sensation like this into a body of work that can leap off the page at me. SubarashÄ«!
cover of Michio Yamauchi's Tokyo Up Close
My love of candid, black and white photography from the street is well met by Michio Yamauchi's Tokyo Up Close. It's a great collection of images, very much what is says on the tin but none the worse for that. 
"The photographs I take are all photographs; even so, I believe that 99% of them are pretty much equivalent to garbage. It's the remaining 1% that intrigues me and causes me to wonder at my reaction to those instances of reality. And then another person, looking at photographs I've taken in response to my arbitrary reactions, reacts too. Other people are able to feel my reactions - that's even more intriguing."
Again another quote and another connection to reflections I've made. The subjectivity of meaning, and the sharing of those interpretations, were my motivations to create the Ambiguous Book Project!
Photography in book form is regarded as an art form in itself and I'm really privileged to have two such examples in my collection. Time to think about some new ideas...