I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Keizo Kitajima: Sticky book, sticky pages, sticky floors
A quick post today on Keizo Kitajima and his Moduru Okinawa, published by Gomma. This is Kitajima's exploration of the nightlife of Koza in Okinawa. It's 1980, the Vietnam War is over and they've stopped dropping the bombs, but the Kadena Air Base and the Americans (especially the African Americans in this book) are still there and so is the bar, girl, and drink industry that sprovides r'n'r for the the remaining, airmen, hangers on who patronise the local dives.
It's a fin-de-siecle 'celebration' where disco and glam meet yakuza and pimp. African-American becomes a Japanese and Japanese becomes African-American. It's the late seventies, things are falling apart, but the party continues at the next bar.
It's a sticky book with sticky pages showing pictures sticky bars with sticky tables and sticky floors. Everything's sticky here. And the pictures are great, all black and grainy blaxpointation fur coats and shiny suits, a portrait of a time in a decompressed half light of a time where the past was clung to and the future never quite happened.
Buy the book here.