1 PLAYER START - photo book


Everybody has different expectations of Japan. Being on the other side of the world from my home and having a totally alien language, the Japanese media I could engage with was curated by others (the TV shows worth translating or adapting for UK audiences), or self-selected from the media I could access on the internet and deemed exciting enough to engage with (anime and video games).

Of course I knew that life in Tokyo wasn't like a video game, that TV shows didn't give you seizures (thanks, Simpsons) and that the game shows weren't all as exciting as Takeshi's Castle. But those ideas of what I thought Japan would be like influenced my image-making. Without even realizing, I was taking and editing photos i thought were unique only to notice days later that they gave me flashbacks to something I had seen as a teenager on a Nintendo or in an animated ninja b-movie. I can't look at the picture of kindergarten chairs for instance, overlain with 16-bit debris on a CTR screen, without thinking of the telepathic infants from Akira (1988) demolishing walls with their minds and having experiments done on them while they play with building blocks. 

This book is a clashing of preconceptions and reality, it's about traditional Japan and modern japan, The japan i knew and the japan I thought I knew. It's the real Tokyo metropolis and the fictional Neo-Tokyo i can't shake from my subconscious - my own brain mourning the loss of what I thought this country would be like, and trying to surrogate it in images.