The List #4 by Martin Amis
The fourth installment in the regular feature, The List highlights my personal recommendations from the many arrivals to the Photobookstore shelves. Over the course of the year, I hope these updates will be a helpful alternative complement to the much anticipated (and sometimes dreaded) end of year book lists. See also my previous 2017 selections List #1, List #2 and List #3.
Junpei Ueda – Picture of My Life
Originally published in 2016 as a handmade edition of just 21 copies only, this new edition respectfully recreates the extraordinary original book. Through a sequence of archive images, his father’s artworks and Junpei’s own images and diary entries the book tells the heartbreaking story of Junpei’s parents who killed themselves, one after the other, in the winter of 1998. An impossibly moving book.
Feng Li – White Night
A new name to many but Chinese photographer’s Feng Li’s striking debut photobook may soon change that. Sharp flash illuminates an absurd barrage of scenes in one of the best street photography books of the past few years.
Jim Mortram – Small Town Inertia
Social documentary photographer Jim Mortram has been photographing the lives of people in his community who, through physical and mental problems and a failing social security system, face isolation and loneliness in their daily lives. Small Town Inertia, his debut photobook, tells their stories to powerful effect.
John Spinks – The New Village
For over 15 years, John Spinks has been photographing the small mining village in North Warwickshire where he spent his childhood. A melancholy beauty pervades in this subtle blend of portraits and landscapes.
Masako Tomiya – Kito
Inspired by the news on the same day that her sister and sister-in-law, who live near her hometown, were both pregnant, Masako Tomiya’s book Kito is a meditation on family, identity and the passing of time. A serene calmness hangs over this elegant work. Another thoughtfully crafted book from publishers Chose Commune.
Lucas Foglia – Human Nature
Moving through cities, forests, farms, deserts, ice fields, and oceans Human Nature explores both our own, and science’s relationship with nature. Suitably beautifully printed, this is a perfect presentation of this bold series of images.
Alexandre Christiaens – Hunter Grill
Small Italian publisher Origini Edizioni have produced a steady stream of handmade small edition photobooks, often combining poetry with images. Recent release, the haunting Hunter Grill is one of their most accessible and best books to date. Also vying for inclusion was another recent book from the same publisher the suitably delicate Finchè Tornerai Terra.
Martin Amis founded Photobookstore in 2006, and is rarely more than 10 feet from a pile of photobooks.
Images: Small Town Intertia by Jim Mortram, The New Village by John Spinks, Kito by Masako Tomiya.