Familiar Street ScenesGOCHO, Shigeo
Japan: Self Published. 1981.
First edition, limited to 500 copies. 247 by 267mm. Unpaginated. 47 colour plates. Black cloth with title and author stamped in English in silver on upper board and in Japanese on the spine. White card slip-case with a photograph on its front and the title and author printed in black in English and Japanese. Slip-case is protected by a plastic wrapper. Both book and case are in fine condition.
The photographs in this, the last of Gocho’s three published works were taken between April 1978 and October 1980. As with his other work, there is a sense of Gocho’s detachment from the world around him, born in part perhaps from his own difficult circumstances. He was born in 1946 with a rare degenerative illness which prevented him from growing to full adult height; he was only four feet tall. Furthermore Gocho knew from an early age that he would not live beyond middle age; he died in 1983. “Shigeo Gochō’s final series, Familiar Street Scenes, marks a significant departure from the style of portraits for which he had become known. He used color film for the first time and sought out fleeting formal patterns in the bustle and flow of the streets of downtown Tokyo while moving closer to his subjects, which he then presented in larger, bold prints. The diminished distance between the photographer and his subjects leads to a more confrontational relationship. Though some return his gaze, their expressions convey an admonishment rather than a shared acceptance”. (Catalogue of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)