Personal Matters – Motohiko Hasui

Motohiko Hasui

Personal Matters


£22 / 104pp

December 2013

ISBN: 9780956247056

The latest offering from the London-based publishers, Bemojake, immediately leaps out at as an interesting object. Built into a hardcover Moleskine-esque A5 notebook (complete with internal page finder and elastic strap), Motohiko Hasui’s Personal Matters is humble in its ambitions as part-diary and part musing on modernity within a Japanese metropolis. The form follows function perfectly and ties in well with the loose aesthetic of the date-stamped photos. You really can imagine throwing it into a bag and taking it on your travels – with no need to worry about it getting damaged. Within the images, man-made urban utopias contrast with a scattering of rural idylls and where the concrete does prevail, nature creeps in through gaps in fences and peers in over the tops of walls. Flashes of Western consumerism echo throughout – a Chanel tattoo on a woman’s calf, a homogeneously decorated Christmas tree and the rear lights of a dubiously parked sports car. The pairings and pacing elevate interesting single shots into a body of work that begins to ask deeper questions of the viewer, whilst also giving a sufficient sense of the photographer’s own dislocation, rattling around between his “Western ideals and Japanese heritage”.

Reviewed by James D. Clark
Buy the book here