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As of now, you can pre-order signed copies of the upcoming third edition of YAKUZA.
Great news... as of now, May 1st 2016, the third edition of YAKUZA is available to order.
Many of you who missed out on buying the first or second edition, have emailed me throughout the years (yes, it's been *that* long) to please let them know if I'd ever have a chance of printing a third edition... and I've always promised that I'd try hard to make it happen... and here we are. Finally.
The design is ready, and the book is scheduled to go in print in two weeks. And I'll be able to ship books starting May 1st. Of course, I'll keep you informed with a printing update along the way... so you won't miss a thing.
I'm happy to finally make this book available to a wider audience, and at the same time maintaining respect for all of you who bought the first and second editions (frankly, without you all, I simply wouldn't even be here...).
In celebration of the publication of the first issue of Leica M Magazine, there is a group exhibit of work by Alex Webb, Bruce Gilden, Trent Parke, Jan Grarup, Ciril Jazbec, and yours truly with YAKUZA. Come and visit, and buy an issue of the magazine! See the issue online here.
Exhibit of the Yakuza project in Cultural Centre "DeWerf" in Aalst, Belgium. This is one of the largest and most elaborate YAKUZA exhibition to date, with 24ft rice papers and 64 of 66 images on display in this stunning location. I'll also be giving lectures on 13, 14, and 15 October.
Also, as a premiere, there is a preview of select images from Mono No Aware, my new project, to be seen.
More info here: www.ccdewerf.be
Dates: September 27 - December 15, 2014
CC DeWerf, Molenstraat 51, Aalst, Belgium (+32.53.723811)
Exhibit of the Yakuza project in TAGOMAGO Gallery in Barcelona, Spain and proud to be part of the DOCfield14 festival. 39 images on display in this beautiful location.
More info here: www.docfieldbarcelona.org
Dates: June 17 - July 25, 2014
TAGOMAGO Gallery, Santa Teresa 6, 08012 Barcelona (+34 932 922 422)
Exhibit of the Yakuza project as a part of the Boutographies photo festival in Montpellier, France... and proud to be part of it of course. 36 images on display in the "Pavillon Populaire".
More info here: www.boutographies.com
Dates: May 16 - June 1, 2014
Pavillon Populaire, Rue Charles Amans, 34000 Montpellier, France
I like how my images look in black&white...
Remember the posters you used to hang up on your bedroom wall as a kid? I wonder where they've gone. I even remember there used to be entire poster shops, right? You know, with big plastic covers over the posters and you could leaf through them like a huge book, and when I was a kid sometimes I couldn't even turn over the pages that's how heavy they were. And then when you bought a poster the shop keeper would go into this back room to a huge rack full of rolled up and folded posters and somehow magically knew which poster to give - like he could see through the paper.
What I've always loved about posters is that they're so tangible: you get to wear them out with thumbtacks or tape... and then... then they really start looking good. Just like books... I love books when they're dog eared, coffee stained, and fall apart at the seams... the signs of living a full life.
For a while now I've offered these posters for sale at every exhibit, as a bonus for those who come to visit. On typical thin poster paper, pre-folded, add a little white or black space and some minimal type... they scream "abuse me, hang me up, fold me, tape me, tack me, tear me, let the sun bleach me... or be very careful and frame me. Just don't put me away somewhere dark and lonely..."
7,5€ (approx. $8.5) for a poster and a matching envelope (excluding shipping). They come pre-folded so they ship flat & inexpensive. And I've signed them on the front with a big fat marker pen. Twenty-five times cheaper than an 8"x10" archival quality signed print. Nine images, nine posters.
Yeah sure, you can buy all of them if you want :-)
Oh my. This is fun. Did I mention that I only printed 100 copies of each? The stock isn't gonna last long.... hurry hurry.
Exhibit of the Yakuza project in the Vertical Art Space in Asia One in Hong Kong. A unique location that spans 10 floors. Images will be printed locally, and 62 images of the project will be on display. The gallery will also represent me and my work for China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Dates: December 6, 2013 - January 25, 2014
AO Vertical Art Space, 3-13/F Asia One Tower, 8 Fung Yip Street, Chai Wan, HK
Exhibit of the Yakuza project in not one, but three locations in Liège, Belgium. Not only will 45 of the main images be on display, but also 7 designed spreads from 893 Magazine, which I printed at a nice 70*44".
Copies of the sold out ODO YAKUZA TOKYO book (2nd edition) are also available on site.
The three locations are:
Academy of Fine Arts, 21 Rue des Anglais, 4000 Liège
le Cadran, 23 Rue de Bruxelles, 4000 Liège
Monos Art Gallery, 39 Rue Henri Blès, 4000 Liège (a preview of Heavens will also be held here simultaneously)
More info on these sites:
November 14 - November 21, 2013 (Academy & le Cadran)
November 24 - January 30 (Monos Art Gallery)
So the opening of the Yakuza exhibit in Rome at Officine Fotografiche was fantastic. So heartwarming the welcome when I arrived, so professional the help to get the installation built, so overwhelming the opening night... An incredible experience all around. Thank you Tiziana and Emilio for welcoming me, and for trusting me to deliver... and what a great festival fotoleggendo is.
I like to get my hands dirty. For an exhibit installation, usually they expect the artist to kind of "hang around", giving directions when needed and such. Not me... I am first in, last out, working hands on with everyone all the time. Even if all is planned as much as possible, with layouts and 3D models and exact measurements & positions... at that moment, none of that counts anymore. It's the people and their dedication that really make it happen.
And of course always Diego Orlando is there... as a curator, photographer, close friend and absolute eagle eye, it's him who somehow always makes that extra magic happen. I constantly nag him at every build up, telling him I'm waiting for his "genius moment" to come, and that he'd better hurry.
"NOW Diego, it's time for your genius. NOW."
Of course there is no such thing as planning a genius moment. Yet I feel that moment should always happen. It will happen, as long as the energy in the room is right. It's something unplannable, but to me, it's required to make things one hundred percent perfect. So all I can do is be open for the moment... I can never push it, nor expect it. I can only allow it to happen...
In this case, at the very last minute, we decided to change half a dozen images that were already installed 12 feet high up on the walls (you know how it goes, you change one image and the whole edit falls apart). On top of that, we kind of felt that a double row of rice papers instead of the planned single one would be better....
...and you know that the decision has been a good one when you both look back and think: now, now this is killer.
Up to now I've never been bitten by allowing things to happen.... and I hope I won't ever be... or at least not too often. It's just too much fun.
Here's to Diego, Tiziana, Emilio, Elena and everyone else at Officine: thank you... great times. Hope I can return to Rome soon...
(the exhibit still runs until nov 7, so if you're around, come visit!)
Exhibit of the Yakuza project in Officine Fotografiche in Rome, Italy and proud to be part of the Fotoleggendo festival. 47 images on display, in an installation of japanese rice paper and Goza mats, tailored specifically to this beautiful location.
More info here: www.fotoleggendo.it
Dates: October 10 - November 9, 2013
Officine Fotografiche, Via Giuseppe Libetta 1, 00154 Roma
A few days ago the printer delivered the last boxes of YAKUZA books to my door (I was able to make a deal with him to stock my books – great guy, by the way). To my surprise – pleasant surprise – he only handed me 8 boxes. "That's all that's left, son".
As you can see each box holds 13 books. And with 4 upcoming exhibitions, in which I want to make sure that people who come to visit can buy a book, you know what this means. Time to declare:
The second edition of ODO YAKUZA TOKYO is now sold out.
Phew, what a ride for this book... I'll be switching off the online orders in a couple of days, so if you're looking to get a last minute order for this edition, do it NOW. Yes NOW.
Or come visit an exhibit of course :) More details on those soon...
exhibit of the Yakuza project at the HeadOn photo festival in Sydney, Australia. 20 images from the project are on display.
More info here: http://headon.com.au/event/yakuza
Dates: May 20 - June 22, 2013
The three days we had available to build the installation and hang the artworks was plenty to build Yakuza. Being the first time, I feared it would be way too short, but we finished in the evening of the second day, after just 27 hours. Some things went exactly as planned, some things even better. And some things seemed to be so hard to solve that I thought we'd never figure it out in time.
My brother Malik had flown over from Tokyo with Yoko, my mum was on standby babysitting a bunch of the kids, and my love was ready too. Two extremely experienced tech guys from the venue were there to help me at all times. Charles from the lab who did the prints, also insisted on personally hanging the artwork to the wall. And a day before the opening, Diego Orlando, dear friend and curator for the Yakuza show, was flying in from Milano.
So we pretty much had it covered. Three stages. Artwork. Rice paper. Goza mats.
The rice paper was the thing that worried us the most. Extremely delicate and without any margin for error (some were printed with images or text), we had to find a suitable way to hang them from the ceiling.
For the artwork I had prepared a detailed layout with exact measurements, and I had faith in Charles, having over 25 years experience doing exactly this kind of thing.
And finally, laying the mats in the right patterns would be pretty straighforward I guessed. Malik took the organization of that one upon him.
Charles was making tremendous progress hanging the actual artworks... and finished after just 7,5 hours. And at that moment, even without the lighting, rice paper or mats, we could see it was going to be good. Everybody was happy... One down, three to go...
In the late afternoon of the first day we encountered or first real challenge, and it was something none of us expected: the goza mats. For some reason we just couldn’t get them to join together in the patterns we needed. We tried everything: sticking, glueing, using a second carpet layer... nothing helped. We tried for hours to figure it out.
Then Yoko found it: goza mats, as is tradition in Japan, should be sewn together to generate the patterns and sizes one needs. Only practical problem: we had to combine one hundred mats into three large shapes & patterns...
We had to find extra hands that knew how to sew. Fast. It was 10pm and we needed them by 9am. We needed them or we'd be in trouble finishing. We started calling around for help.
It was then that I noticed one of the rice paper prints was missing.
Calling Charles he immediately agreed to help me print the missing one at 7am the next morning. I needed to personally be there as we loaded op the paper and printed.
The next morning, at the gallery, a miracle had happened... my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law had both responded to our emergency call for sewing, and took it upon them to bring even more help... Now there was a team of 6 people sewing simultaneously, and things suddenly went really fast... they incredibly managed to finish all the mats just 8 hours later.
Then It was Tuur's turn to save us. At one point - I'm so glad I was still at the printer at that time - someone drilled through a water pipe in the ceiling... and you can imagine what happened next.
Tuur shouted and everybody came running to the room to rescue the artwork... and quickly thereafter the water mains got shut down and repaired. Nothing damaged. Quick thinking from an experienced builder. And by the time I returned from the printer there wasn’t a trace left of all this... phew.
And the rice paper - of which we were all afraid - well, all went flawlessly. The second day, we finished in time, and we all went home completely relaxed. Job done, exhibit ready for final inspection and subsequent opening... fantastic. I slept like a baby.
The next morning, off to the airport to pick up dear friend Diego Orlando (who curates the Yakuza show), and go straight to the venue to check if everything is one hundred percent perfect.
Of course Diego’s eagle eye picked up on something that could be improved story-wise... and we ended up making a genius last minute switch of one image on a different wall and a sequence alteration in another part... in hindsight so simple... so logical... so perfect.
The opening the next day was a big success.... so many people and friends... and such great moments.
Five years ago Malik and I looked each other in the eye in Taka’s bar and said “hey what if we try to photograph the yakuza?”.
Now, half a decade later, after two editions of the book and the first of a series of solo exhibits, we are finally full circle.
I am SO happy.
Mum, Malik, Yoko, Miet, Tuur, Jeroen, Charles, Mich, Jules, Kristien, Danny (and of course young Lukas in a supporting role), I simply cannot thank you guys enough for helping at the setup... and thank you Veerle and Eddie for giving me the opportunity in the first place...
Katelijne van Heukelom and Tijs Posen made a beautiful short reportage for Cobra.be on Canvas (Belgian national tv channel) about the first YAKUZA solo exhibit in C-mine, Genk, Belgium.
You can watch it online on the cobra.be website: http://www.cobra.be/permalink/1.1599393
Opening solo exhibit of the Yakuza project in C-mine, Genk, Belgium. A massive 66 images on display, inside an installation of japanese rice paper and goza mats.
Dates: April 7 - May 19, 2013