SANAI Masafumi 佐内正史 (1968 - ) Photographer working for magazines and CD jackets.
Ikiteiru - 生きている
Reviewed on: 2001.6.24 Last modified: 2005-04-03
Second printing of this current-wave photographer's debut photo book.
Published: April 25, 1997 Publisher: Seigensha Art Publishing ISBN: 4916094166 Price in Japan: ¥3,990 Qualities: Softcover, color and B/W photos Size: B4, 64 pp. Language: No text
This book has a very nice ambience to it, and the pictures are pacifying. The book's title can be translated as "Alive" or "Living." The cover shot really matches the book's title. The luxurious, green plant is reaching out and shooting upward as much as it can. It certainly gives you a sense of being alive. Like this plant, when you feel alive, you exude a strong presence.
You see a remarkable collection of pictures expressing the concept of being alive. There are almost no people, only landscapes or everyday scenes. The first photo is of a Nissan Skyline car which looks to be 20 years old but still running. Then there are pictures of lush greenery (sometimes weeds) somehow surviving in an urban or concrete-and-asphalt environment. You also see two pigeons flying in the air, a flower beginning to bloom, the ocean, and a bunch of power lines (with electricity flowing through them).
At the same time, there are less obvious shots such as of a doorknob, guardrail, clouds, the seat of a motor scooter, an ashtray, parked bicycles, and a 747 flying overhead. When you gaze at these pictures, even these inanimate things start to look "alive" or "living."
I was happy to see that this fine book finally received a second printing in April 2001. (Reviewed by Philbert Ono)