Shashin Tokkyubin Tokyo (Photomail from Tokyo). Photographs by Keizo Kitajima. Paroru Sha, Tokyo, Japan, 1980. Unpaged. Small quarto. First edition. SIGNED on front flyleaf. Stiff photo-illustrated wrappers. Original printed obi [NOTE: this is the 'first-state' obi; it was later changed pink and yellow, with the date of 1981 shown]. Folded in poster tipped in at the front of the book. Illustrated endpapers. Numerous full-page black-and-white and color reproductions.
"On the evidence of these photographs, and his approach to exhibiting his work back in 1979, Kitajima applied a punk attitude to the making and disseminating of his work. Back then, he created a new exhibition of his photographs each month, covering every inch of the gallery walls with images, often in grids, of his work from the previous few weeks. He photographed at night, wandering around Tokyo, shooting on the streets, in bars and clubs, capturing the buzzing after-hours energy of the city. "His images are grainy and dark in the manner of Moriyama or Anders Petersen, but even more extreme in their use of contrast and saturation. Sometimes, you have to look hard to see what exactly he has caught, particularly with his super-grainy close-ups of faces and figures: real people blend into billboard figures; others turn away or go about their business oblivious to his camera. There is constant movement. This is wilfully impressionistic street photography that adds up to a blurred portrait of night-time Tokyo, as well as suggesting Kitajima's state of mind at that time."---excerpted from, Sean O'Hagan, "Grainy glory: how Keizo Kitajima tore up the Japanese photo book," The Guardian, 20 April 2012
Keizo Kitajima studied with Daido Moriyama at his Work Shop photography school and showed with him at the Image Shop Camp gallery in Tokyo. As one turns the pages in Photomail from Tokyo images shift from sharp color to grainy, high contrast blurs that the clear influence of Moriyama and the Provoke movement. The seedy side of Tokyo nightlife is juxtaposed with the everyday, with modern Tokyo architecture crowding it all into the frames. A wild, vertiginous ride through Tokyo that never lets up, Photomail from Tokyo--in our humble opinion--holds up quite favorably to William Klein's New York....
A Fantastic Book and a ideal 'gateway drug' to the singular world of Japanese photobooks!!
Light wear to obi; otherwise Fine/Fine.