Amsterdam-based photographer Mark Manzi gives us a snapshot of life across three major Japanese cities.
People of Japan was born from Mark Manzi’s 2019 trip from Tokyo to Osaka; travelling across Japan collecting memories, photographs, and objects from his daily life.
While the photobook feels very much shot from the perspective of an outsider looking in, Manzi captures fleeting moments that retain a sense of intimacy. Across the pages, the familiar and the mundane are given a heightened importance. Found objects inform much of the photography, creating an interesting interplay between people and the everyday things that surround them.
“I’d look at the stuff and really think back on the day, which helped me create more of a story from the items. Also, Japanese design is fantastic. My favourite item was a disposable bag I got in Takayama, because of the struggle I went through explaining to the vendor that I just wanted to buy a bag — not her apples.”
Japanese woodblock printing also influenced Manzi’s work, altering his typical artistic process. Text and scanned objects create frames for the images. Additionally, the book includes text from collaborator Paul Humphries, writing on technology, identity, and existential questions.
“In the past, my work was very image-focused, whereas with this book I wanted to scan objects, collect receipts, record noises, add copy, and really create something visually striking.”
Check out some of the pages from People of Japan below:
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