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Book of the Week: A Pick by Amanda Lo

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Amanda Lo Amanda Lo selects Toshi no Zokei by Seiji Kurata as Book of the Week.
Toshi no Zokei. By Seiji Kurata.
Super Labo, 2015.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Amanda Lo who has selected Toshi no Zokei by Seiji Kurata from Super Labo.

"'Click the shutter. Click click, and click another several times. I guess it sounds a bit troublesome to click so many times. How about just click it once and leave it alone. No matter is camera or photosensitizer, oh I bet whatever that is or whoever that is, they would head toward freedom and liberation with pleasure.' —Seiji Kurata, excerpt from his words for Metropolitan Expressway in colour in GRAPHICATION (No#199, July, 2015).

Toshi no Zokei, if we translate it literally, would be The Created Landscape of City. 'Zokei' means created landscape, an idea inspired by respected French geographer Augustin Berque. Toshi no Zokei is a trilogy composed of three series, AKB '80s (Kanda Market), Metropolitan Expressway in colour (1980-2008) and monochrome (1998-2008). This book was published by Super Labo in August, presenting a collection from Kurata’s latest works in monochrome.

It’s always interesting to read the titles of Kurata’s series and imagine how he captured the scenes because the titles always tell the characteristics of the works. When reading through these photographs, I can imagine him using a large format camera, standing still in front of these constructions. Without giving any words, the concrete structures speak for themselves. The cityscapes in these photographs seem mechanical and emotionless, the moment captured appears silent, solid and calm. However, in such a shifting world, the large scale of these created landscapes are so imposing that it seems as if they will last forever. These structures are built in order to make the city more convenient and functional, they are a product of time as well as the creation of human beings. However, I feel, perhaps only when photographed with a long exposure, these created cityscapes are truly liberated and set free. So does Kurata. I am always so overwhelmed by the freedom expressed by Kurata through his photographic lens."—Amanda Lo

Purchase Book

Toshi no Zokei. By Seiji Kurata. Super Labo, 2015.
Toshi no Zokei. By Seiji Kurata. Super Labo, 2015.

Amanda Lo was born in Taiwan. She has been running Zen Foto Gallery together with Mark Pearson since 2009 as gallery manager, book designer and editor. Alongside her husband Akira, she is the co-founder of Nitesha, an online secondhand bookstore specialized in Asian art books and photography books.

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