Yumi Goto’s Picks the Most Interesting Photobooks of 2013 for EMAHO MAGAZINE
For me, 2013 has been the year of the photobook, as I’ve been busy producing publications all year.
My pick of 2013’s photobooks worth highlighting are ones that I have known about as a mere idea or had the chance to see as dummies or in zine form – when the photographer has passionately believed in turning his/her project into a complete narrative and I’ve just been fortunate enough to come across it. These are just my personal picks, but all deserve attention as the interesting photobooks the industry had to offer in 2013.
The photobook is something special. It’s something you can physically own and appreciated personally. Photographers’ work, once it is owned by someone else, no longer belongs to the author alone. These days photobooks are relatively easy to seek out and obtain. So much so, that I often don’t have enough time to fully appreciate the ones I have.
I know the authors and I know how the books below have been a labour of love and dedication for them. Even beyond 2013 I will treasure them as part of my collection. I would like to congratulate the photographers on their work – I look forward to more surprises from them in the future.
**List is chronological order that I received them.
Here is my pick of 2013’s five interesting photobooks:
◉ PROMISING WATERS / Mila Teshaieva
I was given a little zine of Promising Waters when I first met Mila at the Bursa Foto Fest in Turkey in 2012. She has dedicated so much to the project and was finally able to make this beautiful book after winning Photolucida’s Critical Mass 2012. Her book really deserves to be on this list. I really congratulate her on her passion, which enabled her to get the book realised in the format she really wanted.
◉ BELGIAN AUTUMN / Jan Rosseel
I came across this book through a chance encounter. I was in The Hague to check out a photobook workshop and Jan was there as one of its participants. I had some issues of Nozomi Iijima’s Scoffing Pig newsprint, which I was involved in producing, with me, and Jan was interested in purchasing a copy.
We spoke a little and he mentioned his book had just been published and when I heard the story behind the book I got excited. He told me that there were only 28 copies made and the reason why and brought me the last copy left.
◉ AWAY FROM HOME / Kursat Bayhan
I was familiar with some pictures in the book from when I first worked with Kursat back in 2009 for the Japanese publisher’s photobook project. I was unaware of his plans to make a book however, until late last year when his book dummy was awarded the Book Dummy Award at the Bursa Foto Fest 2012.
Despite winning, I know it was not easy to get the book produced. There were some obstacles, but Kursat overcame them to achieve his goal.
◉ SHVILISHVILI / Jana Romanova
I always love a good surprise in the form of a new discovery. I came across Jana’s book from a Japanese photographer who studied in Russia. The book is handmade and only 67 copies were produced. Despite being sold out, I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy through a Japanese artbook shop, which had the last copy. It was fate – destiny dictated this book should be in my library.
Emma was one of the photobook-making workshop participants at the OBSCURA Photo Festival in Malaysia. By that time she had already produced a pretty large dummy photobook, which was beautifully done but only a single copy was made. To accompany her solo exhibition in Australia in November – this time she made 500 copies of the book. The best part is that we can now own this beautiful work in a book format.
– Yumi Goto, 2013