2011, Dec 12
Hiroshi Takizawa, “A rock of the moon” zine

Hiroshi Takizawa had one of the more interesting shows in the “honorable mention” category of Canon New Cosmos. He’s now published that work, called “A rock of the moon,” has a self-published zine in an edition of 50. It’s available for 1000 yen (in today’s US dollars, about $13) through parapera.net.

Parapera is a collective of sorts, they distribute many self-published zines through their site. I can’t be sure of what the shipping costs are outside of Japan, but I guess it can’t be too high. I don’t think they’ve done too much international promotion, which is a shame because they are a very good source of publications that would probably be difficult to find outside of Japan.

Here are some spreads of Takizawa’s zine:




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Hiroshi Takizawa, Zines

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2011, Aug 26
Aya Takada, “Fragrance Petit”

“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.


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Aya Takada, Zines

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2011, Mar 05
Tayama Koyuki, “Ariadne’s Thread” (田山湖雪の「アリアドネの糸」)


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.

田山湖雪は何ヶ月前ブログをしたけど、いまTotem Pole Photo Galleryで個人展をしています。2011の今までの一番いい展示です。田山の作品は上手だけど、彼女は自分で本を作ります。この本は、全く普通のものじゃない。見に行った方がいいと思います!


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Koyuki Tayama, Totem Pole Photo Gallery, Zines

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