The magnetic, almost inevitable force of Tokyo draws youth from across Japan. While the younger ones arrive to begin school, college graduates in crisp black suits interview flood the city looking for entry positions in one of Japan's internationally known corporations. Still others, like Ikuro Suzuki, arrive in the capital with a camera around their neck and two cardboard boxes under their arms- and check in to an itinerant labourer dormitory. Leaving both his mother and brother in their one room apartment and a life of dusk-to-dawn work at a bar in Shizuoka prefecture for Tokyo, Suzuki soon found employment as a scaffold erector. Here he joinined a crew of rough men in a dangerous line of work, performing difficult labor suspended above the city skyline.
In reaction to this pressure cooker of out-of-town loneliness, male camaraderie, and physical exhaustion, Suzuki aims his camera along a straight line of vision and fires his shutter time and time again towards the people- his coworkers and friends, and places- skyscraper-vistas and cramped Tokyo bars, as well as food and women that make up his life. These images, color prints numbering into the thousands, weave a richly personal tale that Suzuki then physically fashioned into an astoundingly rich collection hand-made photo books. His intense work ethic is reflected in volume after volume of these collections- a body of work for which he was awarded the prestigious Grand Prize of the Canon New Cosmos of Photography in 2013.
Suzuki, armed with a sensitive stare and a battered Nikon SLR, has created a stream of photographs which are best experienced one after another, bound and held in the hands of a reader. Akaaka is therefore pleased to present the first of twelve books by Ikuro Suzuki- an ambitious project with the goal of publishing one new volume each month for 2016. Readers are invited to meet the wave that is the output of his photographs head on- hopefully it is in daily living where we can share in Suzuki's "joy of meetings" and accept the "sorrow of partings" that make up daily living.