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April 2012
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2012, Apr 20
Hiroshi Takizawa, shortlisted in Paris

Hiroshi Takizawa's "A Rock of the Moon"

Starting today, the 5th International Photobook Festival will be held in Paris, and Hiroshi Takizawa’s self-published book “A Rock of the Moon” has been shortlisted for the 2012 Dummy Award. I featured this zine earlier on the blog, and copies are still available to purchase through parapera. Takizawa is the only Japanese photographer on the shortlist.

I nominated Kazuyoshi Usui’s “Showa88” for the 2012 Photobook Award. For some more information on Usui’s work, please see this article and interview for American Photo.


							

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Hiroshi Takizawa, Kazuyoshi Usui

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2012, Apr 11
IMA, Japan’s answer to FOAM

Cover featuring Ricardo Cases

Photography magazines in Japan have been shuttering over the last few years, but a new one that’s just now launching fills a vital need for the Japanese photo world. IMA is a publication funded by amana group, a visual communications company based in Tokyo. The debut Issue #0 was being given away as a kind of trial before the official launch in August. I am very excited about the possibilities of this magazine for broadening the horizon of the Japanese photography scene. To put it simply, IMA takes information that’s been floating around the (Western, predominantly English-language) internet and turns it into a physical, Japanese-only form. This means that Ricardo Cases’ “Paloma al Aire” is on the cover, and Yukichi Watabe’s “A Criminal Investigation” also gets a big feature. (This book has only been received over here by photobook nerds—it hasn’t had any Japanese distribution.)

Yes, these will not be new discoveries for anyone who’s been following photography blogs, but the point of this magazine is to fill in the gaps left by the almost complete lack of photography blogs in Japan. Yes, August Sander and William Eggleston are not the new kids on the block, and their inclusion could be easily mocked, but this magazine is quite literally starting from zero and building up from there.

The photographers’ features are all printed on different stocks of paper, like Foam, and in the back there are a bunch of interesting lists of “Top 20 Photobooks” from notable photography people. We also get a look at John Gossage’s book collection and Alec Soth’s studio. None of the text at all is in Englsh, which might frustrate some potential readers, myself included. I’m often dismayed with how many things in Japan restrict themselves to a Japanese-only audience, but I think this is a case where it’s really not a problem: IMA is positioning itself as a conduit for information from outside of Japan to flow in, and not the other way around. (It is significant that all the work by Japanese photographers featured in IMA—Rinko Kawauchi, Kenji Hirasawa and Watabe Yukichi—was published abroad.) In that sense, there’s just no need to include English. The publisher has already spent quite enough money on the different paper stocks and beautiful printing of the magazine, and I’m happy enough with that.

August Sander

 

Ricardo Cases

 

Rinko Kawauchi

 

William Eggleston

 

An article tracing the history of the photobook in America

 

John Gossage with his collection of books

 

A section with people listing their top 20 photobooks. This page shows Ryan McGinley’s choices

							

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IMA Magazine, Magazines

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2012, Apr 03
Patrick Tsai Exhibit and Book

Last week marked the end of an era, as Patrick Tsai’s project Talking Barnacles finished up after a year. It’s currently living on in its online state, though I am sure that it will take on some other form in the future. Patrick is about to launch a new phase in his career, though, as this week he’ll hold a major solo show in Shibuya’s LOGOS Gallery, in the PARCO building. (There’s an opening this Friday from 7pm.) Midway through the show’s run, his first book, Modern Times, will be released by Nanaroku-sha, of Mirai-chan fame.

The SLJ team is wishing Pat well.


							

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Nanaroku-sha, Patrick Tsai

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