Japanscapes – Toshio Shibata

TVC061 – Out Now

I’m delighted to announce our new book: Japanscapes by Toshio Shibata.

I can’t remember exactly where I came across Shibata’s work first, but it has always stuck in my head. He seems to have a very unique way of documenting the world around us, and how man has infused that ‘natural’ world with infrastructure project to benefit humanity.

Shibata was born in Japan in 1949 and studied painting at the University of Arts in Tokyo, before later deciding to continue his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. It was while he was in Ghent that he turned his attention from painting to photography for the first time.

His images are neutral and subtle, which is probably what I like best about them, and they never feel like he is trying to force his opinion on the viewer. His photos are always a beautiful insight into the lesser-known areas of the Japanese mainland, of which Toshio has travelled numerous times to explore and document the ‘wild’.

The chance to publish his work came about when I visited Toshio at this studio in Tokyo during the Tokyo Art Book Fair in 2016. I had long admired his works published by Nazraeli Press. We discussed his recent travels for new images and agreed to publish a book together if we could find the right project.

While there, I asked him to tell me some more about his practice:

“Infrastructure is the main subject of my photography. Often, infrastructure is treated as a burden on society, being recognised as the opposite of art in many circumstances. But infrastructure represents the time and space of the era, in various ways. It depends how you look at it. Infrastructure contains many elements of the landscape, and these are interesting subjects for me.

The final book is 64 pages, hardcover at 20x25cm. It retails for £29 with Free Shipping Worldwide.

Japanscapes, by Toshio Shibata, is available now

 

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