Abe Jun’s ManilaPosted: 30/11/2011
John Sypal has just posted an excellent (and excellently illustrated) review of Manila (マニラ) by Abe Jun (阿部淳). Abe’s 2009 book Citizens / Shimin (市民) wasn’t totally unexpected, as his 1989 book Creatures (or Creaturers) had appeared in the pre–Parr ’n’ Badger photobook-book Shashin o yomu: Besuto 338 kanzen gaido (写真を読む ベスト338完全ガイド, vol. 1, p.157). But Citizens was certainly one of the best photobooks of the decade (though of course insuffiently bland, pretty or blank to be modish). John wrote an early review of Citizens and one of Abe’s Kokubyaku nōto (黒白ノート).
I often disagree with John but not when he’s writing about Abe. And when we disagree he may well be right and anyway he’s worth reading. Plus he takes lots of good photos.