KIMURA IHEI’S PARIS
KIMURA, Ihei. Paris. (Tokyo: Norasha, 1974). Tall octavo, original white cloth, original photographic slipcase. $2600.
First edition of this significant work by one of Japan’s most important photographers, with 309 pages of photographs.
“Ihei Kimura… was Japan’s leading photographer of the immediate postwar period, and represented the dominant photographic aesthetic of that era: social documentary based on a broadly humanistic approach… Kimura… [was] influenced by classic photojournalism in the Cartier-Bresson mode, and [was] keen to set Japanese photography on a much more professional basis… Paris was photographed during three visits to the city in 1954, 1955 and 1960, although the book was only published in 1974, the year of the photographer’s death… most of it was shot, in color, in the 1950s. When photographed, it was well ahead of its time… Paris is notable for two things. Firstly, it has a distinctive color palette, composed of cool blues, grays, browns and purples. Secondly, there is Kimura’s view of the city itself, which teeters between conventional travel photography and something much more original… It seems that Kimura decided to revisit the clichés and see what he could make of them, having been given a supply of new color film with which to experiment… What he appears to have discovered is a residue of Atget’s Paris… Kimura’s Paris, like Atget’s, is a nostalgic one, a city of crumbling textures and decaying structures, of courtyards and back alleys, of autumnal mists and winter gloom. Aided by his color palette, it is a much more romantic vision than Atget’s unsentimental view, but his book nevertheless has a distinctive voice that takes him beyond mere romanticism” (Parr & Badger I:268, 297). Text in Japanese.
Photographs, cloth, and slipcase beautiful and fine. A lovely copy of the photographs of one of Japan’s most notable photographers. Rare.