I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol
I, Tokyo

Photographs: Jacob aue Sobol

Publisher: Dewi Lewis

112 pages

Pictures: 70

Year: 2008

Price: 180

Comments: Hardcover. Obi as issued. 330 x 240 mm. Black & White photographs. Text in English . Winner of the Leica European publishers award 2008. In great condition. Collectible.

I came to Tokyo for the first time in the spring of 2006. My girlfriend Sara had 
got a job there, and so I decided to move with her to explore the city in which 
she had grown up. It was a society I had never experienced before, one which 
I had little knowledge of and to which I had no real sense of relationship. 

Initially I felt invisible. Each day I would walk the streets without anyone making 
eye-contact with me. Everyone seemed to be heading somewhere it was as 
if they had no need of communication. Most mornings I would take the Chuo- 
line from Nakano to Shinjuku, and even though the train would be packed with 
salary-men and school girls in uniform, I rarely heard a word being spoken. 

Though Tokyo and its people seemed unreachable, I felt drawn to the tight 
and confined reality of the metropolis. My feeling of isolation and loneliness 
was overwhelming it was something I had to find a way to change. And so I 
began taking my pocket camera out with me on the streets and in the parks. 
Rather than focusing on the impressively tall buildings and the eternal swarm 
of people, I began searching for the narrow paths and the individual human 
presence in a city that felt both attractive and repulsive at the same time. I 
wanted to meet the people, to get involved in the city, to make Tokyo mine. 

The pictures in this exhibition are a recording of what I saw and the people I met 
during the ensuing 18 months. 

In my attempt to try to understand Tokyo and its people, I found myself returning 
to the same streets and parks again and again. There were certain areas in 
Shinjuku and Yoyogi-park that always captured my interest, and inevitably they 
became the places that I felt closest to. I think that it was meeting the people 
there, on a one to one basis, that helped to give me a better impression of 
what it means to be a part of Tokyo today. 

Some of those I photographed became my friends, others I shared only a short 
moment with. The pictures are something that grew from these meetings 
pictures I took out of curiosity, and to help me remember how I felt that day, 
my experience of the city. When I photographed I tried to work by instinct as 
much as possible so as to connect and involve myself with the places I visited 
and the people I met. Taking snapshots supports the feeling of something 
unpredictable and playful. I believe it is when pictures are unconsidered and 
irrational that they come to life; that they evolve from showing to being. 


Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo

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Jacob aue Sobol,I, Tokyo