JAPAN PROJECT/Sumo Geisha Sashimi / floating bridge of dreams
SUMO GEISHA SASHIMI consists of two sequences-on each verso page a single photograph of a sumo match is repeated over and over through all the pages while zooming in on a solitary detail-one moment of time is displayed as the view comes closer and closer to a particular detail of the larger photograph on each subsequent page. In a complementary manner, a sequence of photographs taken during a period of about twenty minutes is presented on all the recto pages. The intention was to take advantage of the book’s verso/recto form and create a correspondence among the images across the gutter and through the pages that would not have been possible if each sequence was presented alone. A visual poem, FLOATING BRIDGE OF DREAMS is a presentation of images arranged in such a way as to provide associations and enhance their meaning as the pages are turned with an ineluctable drive toward the end. The title comes from a phrase used in The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki. Three kinds of paper-Mohawk Superfine, Asuka kozo, and Astrobrite black-were used as a way to explore the possibilities of various offset and inkjet printing techniques. Also, the different weight, drape, and texture of the papers enhance the haptic quality of the viewing experience. The two books are bound using the traditional Japanese stab binding. However, the presentation strategies of the images diverge radically from one another in each book. The books share a certain attitude, a way of looking at the world.
Brad Freeman is a photographer, book artist, and offset printer who has been making his own artist’s books since 1980. He founded JAB, the Journal of Artists’ Books in 1994 to provide a forum for critical discussion of artists’ books. His book Wrong Size Fits All was a finalist for the 2011 MCBA Book Prize.