PHOTOBOOKS OF NOTE 2019 - JOHN SYPAL

Zen Foto Gallery

Shinya Arimoto is known for his street portraits of Tokyo but this collection of Tibetan portraits- made while hitchhiking across China and India in the late 1990's- is a glimpse at his photographic roots and proof of a core ability to find something wondrous in everyone. 

 

SWITCH Publishing 
This book finally and properly fills in a piece of Japanese photographic history- what was Nobuyoshi Araki up to before his "official" declaration of being a photographer in 1971? Gekko Shashin reproduces over five hundred pages from twenty-six of Araki's dizzlingly ambitious scrapbooks he filled in his mid 20s from 1964 to 1971.   
Sokyusha 
My favorite book of the year- It's an until now unknown collection of classically clear street photography that, from composition to subject matter, is drenched in the kinds of visual pleasures that prompt repeated viewings.
Coca Dai:  Judy Zhu
Kinakaal Forlag
A magazine editor this year handed me this book saying I'd probably like it- he was right.  Coca Loves Judy, loves Photography, loves Life. Like all good work dealing with these things, their combination is inseparable and its from this melding where the magic happens.   
Sokyusha
In Keizo Motoda's medium-formatted Tokyo street snaps you'll find stuff he likes- motorcycles, old cars, chrome and black leather- and people living as themselves as much as they can, in the ways they want. 
 
Atelier Éditions 
This book is appearing on a lot of lists and for good reason- The photographs are first rate. They're so sharp, so cool, so full of wit and love- and we've gleefully discovered, so is Michael Jang. 2019 needed this for a whole lotta reasons. 
Super Labo
 I love Ed Templeton and I love Tokyo and I love running around with him with our M6s in the city and then I got to love seeing what he's seen in this wonderfully designed book by Super Labo. 
Zen Foto Gallery
Showa 96 closes out a trilogy of books re-creating a Japan that never was in a time that'll never come. This book is too fun for words- which is ok because hey, we have Usui's pictures!
Vacuum Press 
 

Each year Jun Abe puts out at least one B5 sized black and white book of work from his archives- this one is the closest match to his now extremely rare book Citizens.  Monochromatic-street-photographic paradise. 

 

John Sypal is a photographer in Tokyo Japan. He runs the blog/instagram/made a book called Tokyo Camera Style. He knows every gallery and bookshop in Tokyo and that's saying a lot! He is also a member of Totem Pole Photo Gallery. They have great shows.

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