Photobooks of 2019: 10×10 Photobooks
10×10 Japanese Photobooks, 10×10’s first reading room project, launched in September 2012 and was ulimately donated to the International Center of Photography Library. After several years of serving the ICP community, the one hundred books in the Japanese Reading Room were shared publicly again at Fototeca Latinoamericana in Buenos Aires this November. Revisiting our first reading room brought us back to our early interest in contemporary Japanese photobooks. We felt this “Best of 2019” list provided a nice opportunity to reconnect with our early roots and update our interest in books from Japan. Below is a list of some of our favorite 2019 Japanese photobooks.
— 10×10 Photobooks (Russet Lederman and Olga Yatskevich)
Snowflakes Dog Man by Hajime Kimura
A beautiful poetic book project in three parts, Snowflakes Dog Man shares Kimura’s quest to revisit the places and memories associated with his father. A mixture of family album images and Kimura’s photography, the project is printed with many dark, inky, high contrast pages and encourages a leisurely tactile experience.
Holy Onion by Motoyuki Daifu
Motoyuki Daifu’s Holy Onion is a wonderful example of a Japanese photobook that debunks all the cliches associated with “beautiful” Japanese culture. Presented as a single portrait—created from 35 images—of the photographer’s mother peeling an onion, Holy Onion conveys the essense of ordinary life.
So It Goes by Miho Kajioka
A collection of images based on time, memory and location, So It Goes unfolds like a found journal. Wrapped in a waxy screenprinted outer layer, Kajioka’s quiet images are printed on transparent pages, and feel like overlapping fragments of dreams caught in an undefined time. Beautifully bound wtih an exposed binding, this book feels more like an artist’s book than a classic photobook.
Voyage by Tamiko Nishimura
Kudos to Zen Foto for supporting the work of this incredibly important Japanese woman photographer who first got her start in the Provoke magazine darkroom in the late 1960s. A world traveler, Nishmura’s Voyage includes previously unpublished photographs from 1987 to 2018.
Gift by Mari Katayama
Mari Katayama uses prosthetics and hand-sewn sculptures to create empowering and surreal self-portraits that examine her rare disability. She uses these provocative images to challenge our norms and perceptions, and her message is clear, “all human bodies are perfect.”Gift is Katayama’s first photobook.
Balloon Position by Emi Anrakuji
Shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation book of the year award, Emi Arakuji’s Balloon Position is the work of a mature photographer hitting her stride. Working with photographs taken some twenty years ago, Anrakuji has the distance of time to see and sequence her images through an intuitive process that just feels right!
10×10 Photobooks is a non-profit organization with the mission to foster engagement with the global photobook community through an appreciation, dissemination and understanding of photobooks. Founded in 2012, 10×10 offers an ongoing multi-platform series of public photobook events, including reading rooms, salons, publications, online communities and partnerships with arts organizations and institutions. This past November, 10×10 Photobooks presented two public reading rooms: How We See: Photobooks by Women at Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris; and 10×10 Japanese Photobooks at Fototeca Latinoamericana (FoLa) in Buenos Aires. This “best of 2019″ selection for Photobookstore was made by 10×10 co-founders: Olga Yaskevich and Russet Lederman
Images: top – Snowflakes Dog Man by Hajime Kimura, below – Gift by Mari Katayama