Tokyo Mutan / Labyrinthos, by Hiroh Kikai


A series of black and white cityscapes done in a square 6 x 6 format, the photos collected in this book go back as far as 1978, although the majority of them were shot in the 1990s and the current decade. Indeed, this is the second "Labyrinth" book from Kikai, and as such it builds upon Tokyo Labyrinth which was published in 1999.

Though people-less, in contrast to his Asakusa portrait work that is now making his name abroad, these scenes amount to a portrait of sorts, and those few photographs that do feature a person are all the more jarring, a double portrait in a way. The book has a very unified, consistent feel, much like his Asakusa portrait work.

Please note that about a 3rd of this book (the middle third) is made up of essays written by Kikai, in Japanese with no translation. Nevertheless, there are still 119 photographs in the book, each to a page.

All of Kikai's books that have gone out-of-print have skyrocketed in value and can be quite expensive to come by. There is no doubt that this book will share the same fate once it goes out of print.

Hardcover, with dustcover and obi. 24cm x 19cm, 184 pages, 119 b/w reproductions. Published in 2007.

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