Softcover in Plastic Sleeve / 80 pages / 190 x 295 mm
Originally created in 2012 as part of an artist-in-residency programme in Taipei, the images in Mayumi Hosokura‘s book on first impression seem to have more to do with design than photography. Vibrant swaths of bright pink, blue and yellow cover the pages, occasionally interspersed with greys and black. A closer read reveals that they are indeed photographs, interpreted with a heavy hand through printing processes. The publisher, Waterfall, explains that the book “was produced through a complex combination of analogue and digital print techniques to approach the immateriality of an image against the materiality of medium”.
While a description like that has the makings of an emotionally barren, intellectually taxing exercise, Hosokura has a gift for bringing sensitivity to her imagery. As in her previous work, see for example the books Kazan and Crystal Love Starlight, the images shown here are often of beautiful young bodies and natural elements, like trees and roots. They’re small and precise sensitivities, beautiful in an elemental manner. They’re often toned in a single colour, however, detaching the final image from the moment. Dotted with bubbles and spots, each of the images triggers the sensation described by the title: floating. Switching page by page between different printing processes, some images lay thin and flat on the paper, wholly embedded, while others sit atop the paper with a heavy shininess. Again, a reference to floating. Some images echo in the book in different colours.
Paper type and colours change rapidly, as well as image size and positioning. The result is disorienting, another float through the book space. Ultimately, Hosokura’s book does serve as evidence of her experimentation, but as you turn the pages, it appears to be her way of showing us how she later thinks about the things she first feels.
Floaters has been printed in a limited edition of 500 copies and is available from Waterfall.