top コラムTokyo Photobook Tour20 鈴木 親『新東京』Chikashi Suzuki "SHINTOKYO (NEW TOKYO)"

Tokyo Photobook Tour

20 鈴木 親『新東京』Chikashi Suzuki "SHINTOKYO (NEW TOKYO)"

John Sypal

SHINTOKYO (New Tokyo) is a vivid, diaristic love letter to photography by Chikashi Suzuki.

Working since the 1990s, Suzuki’s work regularly appears in fashion and culture magazines. Unlike most fashion work, Suzuki’s pictures show not an idealized visualization/illustration of something, but instead revel in the immediacy of the moment, set across the vast canvas of Tokyo.



One thing I’ve long admired about Suzuki’s work is how his photographs are never dryly cleaned up or over-processed. Primarily (and often obviously) shot on film, they have a straightforward casualness to them that carries on the 90’s snapshot dream into the present. But this isn’t about an imitable “look” -  Suzuki’s pictures come from an engaged approach and appreciation to what’s at hand, no matter if it’s a studio fashion job or a funeral, or a wistful look outs towards an expanse of concrete and steel.


When I say “love letter”, much of it is for photography itself, but a lot of that sentiment (and several pages of the book) is reserved for other photographers. In these pages one will find Suzuki’s portraits of Hajime Sawatari, Kishin Shinoyama, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sophia Coppola, as well as both Williams; Klein AND Eggleston. 


Despite having photographed Nobuyoshi Araki for the August 2017 issue of Bijutsu Techo, rather than a direct portrait, Suzuki’s homage to Araki will be noticed & appreciated by Japanese photo fans.


Interspersed between Tokyo landscapes and photographic legends are images which together give the series a pulsation of life and death. Seasons change, snow and petals fall, cars and flowers and birds and people die. 



On the flip, there’s the eroticism of life, often conveyed in youth and flowers- and in the look women give his camera. That might sound like a lot for one zine to attempt- but he does it extremely well. I only wish we could see more- and so I hope someday we’ll get an expanded hardcover with several hundred pages from Suzuki’s archives. 



The zine, a large lays-flat softcover is a lusciously-laser-printed entry in the Neotokyozine project.

The Neotokyozine series is an ongoing collaboration between G/P+abp, Fujifilm Business Solutions that establishes a platform for artists such as Suzuki to produce low-cost photo and art books. Their site explains that the project came about as a response to growing interest in print- and the rise of cost-effective, high-quality digital publishing possibilities.  I’m quite fond of the suppleness in the book. Its pages have a buttery texture and lazy-wave quality- there’s a softness to it- a straightforward casualness that jives well with Suzuki’s photographs.  
























このプロジェクトは「印刷物への関心と、費用対効果の高い高品質なデジタル出版の可能性に応えるために生まれた」とウェブサイトに書かれていました。 私は、この本のしなやかさがとても好きです。バターのような滑らかな表紙、波のようにゆったりとした質感をもつページには柔らかさがあり、鈴木さんの写真とよくマッチしています。







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