We are pleased to publish the first book of what we hope to be an ongoing series of books by photographers in a Japan context.
The series is called 10 x 2 and the idea is relatively simple — to present a series of 10 photos each by two different photographers. To kick off the series, the photographers in this case are myself and Dirk Rösler, the people behind the Japan Exposures web site.
The set of photographs by myself is entitled “Couple Suru” and contains work I have shot in Japan and Honolulu over the last few years. As the title perhaps hints at, the series looks at what it means to be a couple.
Dirk’s series titled “Between City and Nature” assesses the boundary between city and nature in the suburban and quasi rural Japanese landscape, reviewing what connects “civilised” human life and “wild” natural life.
“Alright, you get 10 pictures together, I get 10 pictures together, and we’ll call it 10 x 2.”
There were several ideas originally behind the project. First, after several aborted attempts at something collaborative, both Dirk and I were looking for something that could be done without minimal fuss. I believe it was while we were standing at the ticket gates of Kita-Senju station that one of us just said, “Alright, you get 10 pictures together, I get 10 pictures together, and we’ll call it 10 x 2.”
One of the other ideas that we felt was important for pushing along the project quickly — and adding an element of chance or mystery — was that we would gather our respective series of images independently, and that we would not allow our choices to be then second-guessed by whatever the other submitted. I’m happy to say that both of us stuck to this idea.
Of course, once you get to a certain point and the book starts to take shape, it’s hard to just “throw it together” and we did take some time and back and forth in terms of how the book should look, whether there should be introductions to the series, and even little things like page numbers or extra blank pages can very quickly become big deals. The devil remains in the details.
And of course, there was the decision about where to have the book printed. I had had previous experience with Lulu and Dirk had had iPhoto and MyPublisher books done, but based on a variety of factors we decided that Blurb best suited our needs, or perhaps was the best compromise for a short-run book, and we are quite happy with that decision. Ideally we would like to have found a local Japanese company to self-publish the book, but rather distressingly, almost all books come in a square format which is perhaps nice for wedding photos but doesn’t really fit with our work.
Going forward, we would like to use this 10 x 2 structure we have created to publish books by other photographers working in Japan.
Kurt Easterwood | Dirk Rösler