Shakai (Signed), by Akimichi Chimura


Akimichi Chimura is a photographer who originally studied to be come a manga comic artist, but became a photographer after studying with Kazuo Kitai. Shakai, or The World of Sand, is Chimura's first book, and it comprises photographs shot on beaches along the coast of Tohoku.

Given that Chimura's subject is the detritus that washes ashore, one could perhaps be forgiven for assuming this is yet another "statement" about the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. But in fact, Chimura has been at his chosen subject since 2008. That isn't to say the natural disaster has not made its presence felt in Shakai, as Chimura readily acknowledges in his postscript, which he chooses to date "March 12, 2012", exactly one year one from the catastrophe. However, as writes Chimura,

To me however those remains were nothing special. The earthquake disaster did not necessarily make them special to me, for my camera lens for simply directed to the articles coming ashore anew. The drifted articles that came ashore before the earthquake and those that came afteräó_ I wonder what difference they make, for the only thing we are really sure about is that they were both thrown away from the society and its rules we depend on and that now they are just there, forgotten and unrecognizedäó_.

Hardcover, with dust jacket, 30 cm x 21.5cm. 72 pages, 62 color reproductions. Artist's afterword in Japanese and English. Published September, 2012, and signed by the artist.

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