I featured Tayama Koyuki a while ago, and now she’s holding a solo show at Totem Pole Photo Gallery which is up until March 13. I realize that it’s not always so useful to write about current Tokyo exhibitions, but I have to write about this show: it’s the best thing I’ve seen in months. If you’re around Tokyo now, I can’t recommend it enough.
Tayama recently graduated from Tokyo Zokei University, and thie show is her senior project. I think her photographs—black and white, ambiguous, full of visual pleasure—are very strong on their own, but what really blew me away is the series of entirely handmade books that accompany the exhibit. I’m down with Xeroxed zines, but these are something else. The production value is really high, as she’s gone and perfect bound each book herself. (It’s a two-day process to create one book.) The book version of “Ariadne” only costs 1500 yen (roughly $18) which I think is incredible given the amount of effort that went into it.
We’re starting to hear more and more about the self-publishing boom here in Tokyo, and while zines are becoming more popular, this is something really exciting. Who knows if it will take off, but for now I’d just suggest enjoying it.
“A Straight Line of Vision” is up from September 29th to October 3rd. Totem Pole is open 12-7pm. Here’s a link to a map.
Back in February, I saw a very strong exhibit at Totem Pole by Takumi Ota. I’ve had some pictures of the show that Ota san sent to me sitting around for a really long time, so here they are:
I think it will be difficult to make out most of these images, and unfortunately they’re not on his website either. Still, you can get a sense of what the excellent Totem Pole Photo Gallery looks like, and maybe these pictures will pique your interest to check out the other good work that Ota san has up on his site.
The current show at Totem Pole Photo Gallery, Emi Fukuyama’s “Followed By the Moon 4,” is really worth seeing if you’re in Tokyo during the next week. (It closes Sunday June 21.) Totem Pole is one of the strongest galleries in Tokyo, but this exhibition might be the best I’ve seen there.
The photographs in this show are all taken from positions that my friend called “awkward”—he pointed out that in almost each image, there’s something blurred in the foreground. This could be distracting, but the resistance draws your eye in to the rest of the frame, where something’s waiting for you, like umbrellas hanging outside an apartment, or chairs by a pool. The consistently expressive composition and lush black-and-white printing makes for a strong mood from start to finish. My friend and I walked out wanting to shoot a lot, which is a sign of a winning show.
Please enjoy, and let me know if you make it out, I’m curious to hear other responses.