United Vagabonds | PHOTOFAIRS

United Vagabonds

About Publisher 

United Vagabonds is an independent art book publishing collective based in Tokyo, Japan. With a focus on discovering new talents, collaborating with distinctive designers, and bringing a sense of surprise to the printing process, United Vagabonds seeks to create added value in the world. Founded by editor Masanobu Sugatsuke, members of the collective include art gallerists Taka Ishii, Tomio Koyama, Misa Shin, Yuko Yamamoto, Maho Kubota and Takahito Harada; private art collectors and SunM Color Co., Ltd., a printing house based in Kyoto.

For inquiries contact Joyce Lam, info@unitedvagabonds.com

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Click here to read our Q&A with United Vagabonds


Introducing the first book of Mari Katayama (b. 1987, Gunma, Japan), Gift is a retrospective of her past works and evolution as an artist. Born with only two fingers on her left hand and Tibial Hemimelia, a rare deficiency in which one leg bone is absent, Katayama amputated both her legs at the age of nine, and has since then transcended her physical condition by making works with her prosthetics, such as intricately embroidered objects and also self-portrait photography where she uses her own body as a living sculpture.

The title Gift was intended to have two meanings: a thing given willingly to someone without payment as in "present," and "poison" referring to the German word "das Gift," which means "poison" in English. The title was chosen as both "gift" and "poison" as they are items given to and imposed on another person.
With text contribution by Simon Baker, director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, Gift was published concomitantly with Katayama’s first solo exhibition in Europe, taking place at the White Rainbow Gallery (London) in early 2019. Gift was shortlisted for the 2019 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards in the PhotoBook of the Year category and is the recipient of the 45th Kimura Ihei Photography Award, the most prestigious photography award in Japan.

Publisher: United Vagabonds
Artist(s): Mari Katayama
Contributor(s): Text by Simon Baker; Edited by Masa Sugatsuke and Joyce Lam; Designed by Simon Dara; Printed by SunM Color Co., Ltd.
Publication Date: 2019 
Binding: Hardcover
Dimensions: A4 size
Pages: 136
ISBN: 978-4-908600-04-3
Price: 5,000 JPY
TO PURCHASE: unitedvagabonds.com/books-gift-english

About Author(s)

Mari Katayama was born in Saitama, Japan in 1987 and raised in Gunma. She graduated from the Gunma Prefectural Women's University, before obtaining her MFA from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2012. Major exhibitions include "Roppongi Crossing - My body, your voice" (2016, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo) and "Contemporary Japanese Photography vol 14: Photographs of Innocence and of Experience" (2017, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo). Katayama was also a participating artist for the 58th Venice Biennale 2019, “May You Live In Interesting Times” and she is the winner of the 45th Kimura Ihei Photography Award.

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We Don’t Know God: Chim↑Pom 2005-2019

We Don’t Know God: Chim↑Pom 2005-2019 is a retrospective of the artist collective’s major works from 2005 to this day. Through the past 14 years, Chim↑Pom has held many exhibitions around the world. Their work challenges contemporary social issues such as relations between society and the individual, land borders, and art itself. With a multi-disciplinary practice, the collective’s primary focus is on video, installation, and performance.
This book was published at the same time as Chim↑Pom’s exhibition Threat of Peace (Hiroshima!!!!!!) was held at Art in General in New-York City. Alongside Chim↑Pom’s mentor Makoto Aida, Noi Sawaragi (art critic), Jason Waite (independent curator), Kenichi Abe (associate professor, University of Tokyo), Hou Hanru (artistic director of MAXXI, Rome), and Kitty Scott (curator of Art Gallery Ontario) contributed to the text.
Chim↑Pom holds a strong presence in the international art scene. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC is the most recent museum to have acquired their work. This first hardcover and fully bilingual monograph shares their vision and their message.

Publisher: United Vagabonds
Artist(s): Chim↑Pom
Contributor(s): Text by Makoto Aida, Hou Hanru, Noi Sawaragi, Kenji Kubota, Kitty Scott, Jason Waite, and Kenichi Abe; Edited by Kenichi Abe, Masanobu Sugatsuke, and Joyce Lam; Designed by Hidenori Yoshioka (September Cowboy); Printed by SunM Color Co., Ltd.
Publication Date: 2019 
Binding: Hardcover
Dimensions: B5 size
Pages: 292
ISBN: 978-4-908600-03-6
Price: 5,500 JPY
TO PURCHASE: unitedvagabonds.com/books-we-dont-know-god-english

About Author(s)

Chim↑Pom is an artist collective formed in Tokyo, 2015. Chim↑Pom has continuously released works that intervene in contemporary society with strong social messages. They initiated, organized, and participated in the international exhibition Don’t Follow the Wind, which was launched on March 11, 2015, in Fukushima inside the nuclear exclusion zone. They also worked on various projects related to the theme of borders and presented The Other Side, a project on the U.S.-Mexico border, in 2017. The group received the Prudential Eye Awards in 2015, under the categories Best Emerging Artist Using Digital/Video and Best Emerging Artist of the Year.

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68th Street

Presenting a beautiful fusion of light and shadows, Yoshihiko Ueda captures the fundamental elements of photography in his new monograph, 68TH STREET. United Vagabonds has the honour to invite world-renowned art director Fabien Baron to create a monolith work for our generation. A limited edition of 1,000 copies were released in April 2018.

By chasing a light reflection on paper and its shadows in a small apartment located on 68th Street in New York and transforming that moment onto monochrome photographic paper, Ueda’s new work shows the indispensable relationship between him and photography, photography and light, light and shadows. After completing the series, Ueda reached out to Fabien Baron, to help him perform the trajectory of light onto another paper canvas, in the form of a book.

68TH STREET is designed by New York-based art director Fabien Baron, best known for his iconic campaigns for Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and most recently Dior. Baron is also the creative director for Interview magazine, which amplified his influence as top runner art director in the fashion industry. Baron is driven by the pursuit of perfection where he designed this photography book as a piece of art.

Editor is Masa Sugatsuke, who has also edited Ueda’s A Life with Camera, and worked on photography books for Kishin Shinoyama, Daido Moriyama, Mark Borthwick, Jeff Burton, to name a few. In 2017, Masa published Anna by Yelena Yemchuk. 68TH STREET is published by United Vagabonds, an independent art book publisher led by Sugatsuke.

Publisher: United Vagabonds
Artist(s): Yoshihiko Ueda
Contributor(s): Art Direction by Fabien Baron; Edited by Masa Sugatsuke
Publication Date: 2018 
Binding: Hardcover
Dimensions: 360 x 254 x 23 mm
Pages: 140
ISBN: 978-4-908600-02-9
Price: 10,000 JPY
TO PURCHASE: unitedvagabonds.com/books-68th-street-english

About Author(s)

Yoshihiko Ueda

Photographer / Professor at Tama Art University

Born in 1957 in Hyogo Prefecture, Ueda began his career as a professional photographer when he was 24. Ueda is an internationally acclaimed photographer, and his photographs transcend different genres: portrait, still life, landscape, architect and performance. His commercial work includes campaigns for Hermès and he also has a long-term collaboration with Muji. In 2015, Ueda published a photography book titled A Life with Camera that gathers 30 years of his own work.

Quinault 1993 is one of Ueda’s representative works, where he photographed the sacred Native American forest of Quinault. In 2017, Ueda published Forest 1989-2017, which shows photographs taken over a 30-year span at Quinault, and as well as Yakushima and Kasuga forest. In 2014, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Photographic Society of Japan.

Fabien Baron

One of fashion's most illustrious creative directors, Fabien Baron, with his agency Baron & Baron founded in 1990, is the genius behind many of the industry's most iconic images. He has notably worked with Interview Magazine, Barney's, Vogue Italia, Harper's Bazaar, Arena Homme Plus, Vogue Paris, and others as an art director/creative director or editor in chief (at Arena). In addition to heading his eponymous agency, Fabien also currently is the editorial director at Interview Magazine.