The news was announced today. This award is given out for a particular book or exhibition, and the judges recognized his book “Intimacy,” published by Nanaroku-sha. (Some photos from the series are up on Mori’s website 1.) Other nominees included Daisuke Yokota and Motoyuki Daifu.
This year, both Arata Dodo and Tomoko Kikuchi received the Ihee Kimura Photography Prize. I wrote about Dodo a few weeks ago for American Photo 1, and last week I wrote about Kikuchi’s work 2. Kikuchi, who lives in China, has spent the past eight years documenting Chinese drag queens.
Once a year, Japan’s Ihee Kimura Photography Award is given out to an outstanding photobook. This year’s recipient is “Tohoku,” by Masaru Tatsuki, a friend of 35 Minutes. I’m not sure just how important the award is these days—in other words, whether it’s still able to launch a career—but it’s definitely far from irrelevant.
The book is the result of a number of years that Tatsuki spent photographing Japan’s Tohoku region. Of course, this is the area that was most badly affected by the 2011 tsunami, and when the book came out in July of this year I thought that it might have been too early. The book actually has very little to do with the earthquake, though, it doesn’t at all seem like the editing or publication was rushed. Tatsuki’s photos look at the unique relationship between humans and animals in this area; there’s a very readable English statement on his website.
Apart from the excellent photos, the nice thing about this book is its price: at ￥2300 ($28), it’s on the low end of the scale for photobooks with high production values. Definitely worth a look if you can get your hands on it.
Photos © Masaru Tatsuki