Everywhere you go, there are certain things which play heroic roles in knitting the world together, and which somehow remain anonymous, even unseen. Our first book, Tokyo Blues, is the story of one of them: the common blue PVC plastic construction tarp.
Now available for purchase or free download, Tokyo Blues is a photographic record of Nurri Kim’s 2002-2003 investigation into this humble industrial material and the very wide variety of uses to which it’s put in the everyday life of Japan.
From construction sites and homeless settlements to cherry-blossom viewing parties in the park, the ubiquitous blue tarp is a constant of Japanese life and a bearer of multiple registers of meaning. In sixty-four images from the boulevards, alleys, sidestreets and interstitial spaces, Tokyo Blues explores these dramatically different contexts, returning something “we see too often, and then forget to see” to full, vivid visibility. The result is a book that provokes its readers to see the city around them with new eyes — whether that city is Tokyo, or their own.
You can read more about the making of Tokyo Blues here.