Vanishing Existence.  Photographs by Kosuke Okahara.
Vanishing Existence.  booktease preview.

Vanishing Existence.

Photographs by Kosuke Okahara.
Backyard Project, 2013. 40 pp., 18 black & white illustrations, 5¾x8¼".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2013 by:
Publisher's Description

Selected as a Book of the Week by Manik Katyal

The trade edition is now out-of-print. Please email us to be notified when the limited edition is available.

A limited edition book on China's forgotten leprosy colonies. This is the very first publication from the BACKYARD PROJECT Publishing from Japan.

Design & Concept
Some of you may know that the leprosy is one of the oldest deceases described in the history. The disease was written even in the the Old Testament. In China, there was a part written in the Analects of Confucius.

To tell the story of people in the pictures as well as the long history of this decease, I wanted to make this book looks like Chinese Paleography. So I made some research on it and I had a chance to visit some Palaeography store in Taiwan where I could get to see the real Chinese Paleography.

To make the book with the atmosphere of Chinese paleography, it was necessary to choose the right materials. I first looked for Chinese paper if there is any, but due to the quality reason ( especially printing images) , I decided to use traditional Japanese paper which is very high-quality and still can see the texture of fiber which I believe is the best to realize the ancient look. This is because the old Japanese books are also quite similar design as Chinese books. All parts of this books are made of traditional Japanese paper. even a tiny part. I chose all paper carefully to make it feels like ancients document.

Though this is not the best way to show the pictures, I decided to bind with ancient technic. this is the same way of binding as Chinese Paleographies as well as Japanese ones. All copies are bound with this very ancient technic.

Since all copies are bound by hand, and no machine is involved in this book making process ( except printing images), it was impossible to make a lot of copies, so only 110 copies are available. ( 10 out of 100 are special editions that will be published soon )

Title calligraphy:
Title calligraphy is drew by Misato Ichino, a Japanese calligrapher. I showed her the images and explained the story carefully so that she could imagine the best way to draw the title calligraphy. She drew more than 30-40 times and I picked the one to use for the title.

This is a A5 sized 40 pages book. not very thick and big. But hope all the decision I made for the materials and concepts could create the best atmosphere to tell this story and history of the decease and people.

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