Grain destined for export stacked on Madras beaches (February 1877) I've started writing a series of posts on photography on World...
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Jacob Aue Sobol:Tokyo
pictures: Jacob Aue Sobol top and Shomei Tomatsu
Jacob Aue Sobol talks about his new book I, Tokyo, in the latest edition of the BJP. He mentions the difficulty of following on from Sabine, his book documenting his love for Sabine, his Inuit girlfriend.
"When I did start taking photographs again, I felt like every photograph had to be connected to my feelings. All of the pictures I took afterwards didn't have this and it drove me to thinking that I shouldn't be a photographer anymore."
Thankfully he got over that and produced the work that made I, Tokyo. Comparisons have been made to Daido Moriyama's work, but Sobol is not concerned. "Some people will say that I have repeated myself. Some will say my work looks too much like someone else's. It's always like that. The important thing for me is to feel that I am present in the work, that it reflects how I felt when I lived in Tokyo, and that the people I had relationships are there in the book."
Sobol's Tokyo pictures are striking, but they are very reminiscent of Daido Moriyama's or Shomei Tomatsu's work. Does that matter? Sobol thinks not, and he's probably right. He's following his path and the images are striking and hit the spot - whether they say anything new about Tokyo, something Moriyama hasn't said, is another matter. But then should Sobol, or anyone else for that matter, be expected to be groundbreaking and shockingly new all the time. Should they have their style and stick to it - or should people be more random and free in their image making?
And the cameras he uses? Ricoh GRS1, Contax T3, Contax G2 for I, Tokyo and just the Ricoh for Sabine. We all love ricohs till they stop working.