Dazed Digital


Colpoesne by Hanayo

November 22, 2011

Bernhard Willhelm and co. join the subversive Japanese photographer in her new tome

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Vicente Gutierrez

Photographs of moments and landscapes as real as they are imagined comprise a recent anthology - "Colpoense" - from Japanese artist and musician Hanayo. With a simple production trick, Rupert Smyth's art direction partitions what is public and what is personal for the established photographer by linking the photographs in a series of sealed accordion pages. The monochrome prints are trails of Hanayo's movement, taken between familiar metropolises including New York, Berlin, Tokyo and Moscow. At the same time, these pages serve as a photographic skin and remain concealed until you, the reader, makes use of the included letter opener.

A second perusal comes under a spell of intrigue, leading one to fray (or not) each outer fold to reveal coloured diptychs of more intimate, indoor encounters. For example, designer Bernhard Willhelm and Christophe of AVAF conversing with a cat in bed, costumed masquerades blurred by joyful frenetics or landscapes teetering with a sense of anonymity, all by virtue of Hanayo's framing. 

Working with the same camera over the past 27 years, "Colpoense" is exemplary of how Hanayo still operates - transitory, imaginative and always sincere. Keeping photographs untitled nonetheless empowers these scenes to collectively arouse and remind, allowing the book to double as an imaginary resource for the reader. Hanayo tells me she calls upon her photography to do just this. "The same way a film can lift the imagination. My photography is also similar to the painter's process. I don't need to take photos of how I see. I make photos of how I want to see. These are the people in my life, I always have my camera with me. I just wait for the beautiful moments."  

Colpoesne is published by Utrecht, Tokyo and available at Motto in Berlin

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