Yutaka Takanashi’s Toshi-e (Towards the City) is a landmark two-volume set of books from one one of the founders of the avant-garde Japanese magazine Provoke.
Published in 1974 and considered the most luxurious of all of the Provoke era publications, its brooding, pessimistic tone describes the state of contemporary life in an unnamed city in Japan undergoing economic and industrial change. Books on Books 6 reproduces all one hundred sixteen black and white photographs that make up the two volumes. Photographer, writer and book historian Gerry Badger, contributes an essay called Image of the City – Yutaka Takanashi’s Toshi-e. (http://www.errataeditions.com/author_tak_1a.html)
“Yutaka Takanashi has always photographed the city – close up, far away, even very far away, from a moving car – sometimes on the lookout for an image charged with poetry, sometimes ‘picking up’ a scrap of reality. As he has often repeated, these two approaches confront one another in his work: poetry/realism, mirror/window, visible/invisible. The important thing for him is to make his way over the terrain, to ‘walk on the ground’ in order to make ‘anonymous pictures’.
Toshi-e (Towards the city), his first major book in black and white, marked the end of Provoke, but also the photographer’s distanced stance, for he managed to assert his own style by not giving in to the siren songs of the moment, but rather, absorbing them. His two-level approach to the city, from a distance in the beginning, and then very close up, with human figures, was extremely original: at the time, Tokyo was in the throes of an industrial transformation which changed frame of reference and undermined certainties. Takanashi set out in search of the invisible, a different poetics in unlikely urban spaces.” (http://www.henricartierbresson.org/en/expositions/yuka-takanashi-2/)
Please note: All images and texts are protected by Copyright and belong to the Artist.
Yutaka Takanashi: Toshi-e
Books on Books #6
Errata Editions; 1 edition (February 28, 2010)
Essays by Gerry Badger, Gozo Yoshimasu, Jeffrey Ladd
Hardcover 176 pp, 120 Duotone illustrations