Seoul-based Publisher Datz Press works with photographers, designers, and bookmakers to create, publish, and exhibit books centered on photography. Their titles Arranging Life by Seongyeon Jo, Black Wind by Gap Chul Lee, Heaven, Wind, Stars and Poems by Barbara Bosworth, Nothing Will Ever be the Same Again by Amanda Marchand, Still-Life by Yoonjean Lee are included in our online exhibition PRESENTS: The Photo Book. We talked to Datz Press about what is and how to “read” a photobook. Hope you enjoy learning about their work and start collecting photobooks per her advice!
PF: The term ‘photobook’ is recent. What is your definition of a photobook? What is a photobook?
Datz Press: A photobook is a book read through images. It is an embodiment of a visual thinking process, sometimes accompanied by supplementary texts to expand one’s understanding.
PF: Why photobooks? What about the book form that is particularly appealing to you?
Datz Press: A book allows us to sequence a dimensional story that cannot be told through a single image.
PF: For someone unfamiliar with the photobook genre, would you share with us your tips on how to 'read' a photobook? What and where should the viewer pay attention to?
Datz Press: As you read music or poetry, a photobook is read intuitively. It is different from reading a book of text, as each image is read through a multi-sensory experience involving visual and touch. Also because an image is universal and free from the barriers of written language, it allows for an open interpretation of its contents.
PF: What makes photobook work?
Datz Press: A photobook is read and treated differently by each reader which allows us to explore the boundaries of the unknown. What works for one person may not work for someone else. There is no unconditional answer for what completes a photobook. This allows photobooks to be reinterpreted in various conditions of time, place, reader, and more, which is what makes a photobook so fascinating and unlimited.
PF: What's the one bit of advice you would give to artists looking to make a photobook?
Datz Press: Collect photobooks and find out what works for you. Constantly question why something is working for you and why something is not. Good questions will lead you to the next step.
Click here to see more about Datz Press in PRESENTS: The Photo Book