Libro Arte, established in Tokyo in 2008, publishes a large number of books concerning photography. Libro Arte takes particular interest in young photographers and supports them by publishing photobooks and presenting exhibitions of their photographs. In recent years, Libro Arte has become an active participant in art book fairs held in Paris, Taiwan and Korea.
Sceneries change depending on what you feel in the moment. In this book the artist is trying to capture sceneries and views through emotional filters. Sometimes, the artist becomes very sensitive to smell. ‘Not smells that you sense with your nose but smells that you sense with your feelings. In those moments, I am drawn towards the smell of the city, the smell of people, the smell of life. Sometimes I traverse towns I don’t know following only my sense of smell. You may not have a particular place to go to, but if you get over yourself and leave the house, you’ll find yourself finding things you never imagined,’ says the photographer Motohiko Hasui.
When his feelings align with the scenery unfolding in front of him and he happens to have a camera with him, he presses the shutter.
Questioning his approach by considering ‘Does this filter of feelings really exist? Does it become visible in photographs? Or is it just my imagination?’ directs and motivates the photographer to keep taking photographs.
Publisher: Libro Arte
Artist(s): Motohiko Hasui
Contributor(s): Designed by Emi Yamane
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 225 × 267 ㎜
Price: 4,950 JPY
TO PURCHASE: libroarte.jp/motohiko_hasui
Motohiko Hasui is an independent photographer born and raised in Japan. He studied photography in Central Saint Martins Art and Design and the London College of Communication. After graduating university in 2007, he moved back to Tokyo. Motohiko started shooting for international publications and newspapers such as M le magazine du monde, New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Quarterly and Dazed and Confused.
Inspired by what he sees during his everyday life in Tokyo he delivers a unique style into reportage and fashion photography. Motohiko loves traveling, nature and life. His passion for making photobooks also helps him pursue a deeper understanding of what photography might be.
Saul Leiter: In Stillness
Saul Leiter: In Stillness relates Saul’s story by depicting both the interior and exterior of his living and working spaces in the East Village.
Fine art photographer Yumiko Izu, who met Leiter in the last years of his life, first began to photograph the interior of his apartments three weeks after his death. She continued to intermittently take photographs for this project through 2019. Izu, whose work is often nuanced with underlying themes of life and death, has artfully captured this lesser-seen side of Leiter with a quiet sensibility.
Publisher: Libro Arte
Artist(s): Yumiko Izu
Contributor(s): Art Direction by Osamu Ouchi (nano/nano graphics); Planning cooperation by Masako Sato
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 300 × 220 ㎜
Price: 4,950 JPY
TO PURCHASE: libroarte.jp/yumikoizu
Yumiko Izu studied at the Visual Arts School in her hometown of Osaka, Japan, and later moved to the United States, where she obtained her B.A. from the Brooks Institute of Photography in California. In 1998 she relocated to New York City, where she worked in commercial and editorial photography before launching her fine art career in 2003, using 8x10 and 11x14 large-format cameras and the platinum/palladium printing process.
In 2016, two of her series, Secret Garden (2011) and Faraway (2014), were published by Serindia Contemporary in a book titled Resonance. Both paying homage to the yin and yang in life; the former through the fleeting life cycle of flowers and the latter through a study of animal skulls that inspires quietness. Her avian-inspired Icarus (2017)—which was shown in Tokyo, Taipei, Bangkok, Santa Fe, and Paris—is another exploration of the duality of life and death. Two bodies of work compose this series: detailed platinum prints of birds’ nests taken with a large-format camera and more abstract images rendered using the camera-less photogram method. Her latest color work, Saul Leiter: In Stillness, a visual story of the American artist, debuted in Tokyo and Kyoto in 2020. Izu is a recipient of the 2007 Photographers’ Fellowship from the Center for Photography at Woodstock and has held numerous exhibitions in the United States and Japan.
She currently lives and works in Rhinebeck, New York.
Photographing the relationship between humans and the natural world has been a theme I have explored for the past 25 years or so. As a city boy, the natural world was always attractive and yet somehow foreign to me. That all changed during the six months I lived in Brazil and my experiences there with the land and the peoples notably brought me to the Amazon Forest. I was mesmerized by the fragrant, lush forests and the unbelievable density of nature. It made sense to me then that all the human problems on the planet are mostly caused by some sort of power struggles involving land ownership, deforestation, and the expansion of human presence.
In New York City, where I lived for 22 years, my interest was primarily focused on abandoned lots and community gardens, places where squares of land gave some greenery in an urban jungle. These types of green spaces really existed in their most organic forms. Weeds eventually claimed the empty lots, encapsulating even the occasional rusted car. Community gardens, cared for by the benevolence of neighbors, gave city dwellers some reprieve from the concrete.
In Tokyo, where I grew up and spent most of my youth, and where I live today, there is a persistence of concrete growth, but nature tries its best. There are street gardens or spaces where potted plants line small alleys, buildings and homes. The human made nature that individuals and communities care for share often in places of demolition due to modern developments and thus, with these developments, we are moving away from a more traditional way of life.
Japanese people have a long history of rituals and relationships with nature, which are expressed through art; such as carefully tended gardens, flower arrangements (ikebana), poetry, paintings and bonsai. The seasonal viewing of nature remains popular even to this day. Much literature about these topics has been produced throughout history, though most of these arts are practiced by a very small portion of the population and very few new gardens are made today.
During the Edo Period, when peace was established between Feudal Lords, the country united. Samurai Lords found other ways to spend their time and enjoy life. Potted plants were one outlet that emerged out of this time and people shared seasonal plants with each other. The potted plants in front of homes still creates a sense of aesthetic and connection within the community.
If you imagine life 100 years ahead from now, when people look back at our time and see how we connected with nature, it will probably be the bohemian street gardens more so than ikebana or bonsai that they have in mind. It is indeed community and other group-driven natural environments that hold nature and humans together in a shared experience. However, this is threatened as expensive real estate development replaces these fixtures of urban life. I believe that this way of sharing nature deserves to have its own history book before this too vanishes. I call this book UEKI. – Yasuyuki Takagi
Publisher: IKI editions Leers France
Artist(s): Yasuyuki Takagi
Contributor(s): Text by Philippe Pons; Designed by Eric Pillault
Publication Date: 2015
Binding: Japanese Binding
Dimensions: 210 × 148 ㎜
Price: 3,600 JPY
TO PURCHASE: libroarte.jp/ueki
Yasuyuki Takagi is a photographer and director born in Tokyo, Japan. He studied Media Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. He assisted many leading photographers in both fine art and commercial photography. Among his numerous mentors are Koto Bolofo, Elliott Erwitt and Stefan Ruiz.
His first book 小さな深い森, Petite Foret Profonde was published in December 2013 by Funny Bones Editions in Paris. His second book 植木, UEKI was published in autumn 2015 by IKI editions Leers France. His new book マロニエ, Marronnier was shortlisted at Arles 2019 Rencontres de la photographie Dummy Books award.