“Fragrance Petit” is the name of a photobook Aya Takada published in May of this year. It’s a quite small book (9×13cm), in an edition of 30, which she made by hand. Part of me wishes I could say that handmade photobooks are “big in Japan,” but outside of Aya and Koyuki Tayama I’m not sure that it’s really taking off here.
The blue inside paper is a nice touch, and it reflects the distinctly chilly mood of “Fragrance Petit.” It’s not that I feel a cold emotion from the book, but that these photos were all taken in the dead of winter! In descending order of severity, the Russian, Korean and Japanese winters are all represented here. As a Californian I feel cold just looking at these photos.
In a lot of Aya’s other work she plays with flash and the texture of interiors (one time, my head got in the way). There’s a little bit of flash here, but she’s outside most of the time, showing what usually seem to be provincial cities. I’d say she’s often looking up and out, not down and in. It’s a bit different from what I normally think of as an Aya photo, but the results are sometimes really excellent. I especially like this photo, which splits the frame into three or maybe four parts:
You can also see a couple of other images from the book when it was featured on Laurence Vecten’s One year of books. I think there are still a few more copies for sale, if you’re interested Aya is really active on Facebook and Twitter.
Aya says she is currently working on a series of photos that are, in her words, “gorgeous.” I am intrigued.