Feng Li - TOKYO FENGLI
Publication: Place M, 2023, limited to 800 copies.
Specifications: 30 x 22 cm, 46 pages.
— About the Book —
Located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, the photography gallery Place M has been in operation for 36 years. In June, we invited photographer Feng Li to participate in the exhibition "Flash Theater" at Place M. He spent nearly a month in Tokyo capturing images. Once the shooting was complete, the decision was made to promptly select photos for this book, leading to the publication of "Tokyo·Feng Li." This reminded me of *CAMP member Keizo Kitajima's snapshot collection "Shashin Tokkyubin" from the 1970s. Just like Feng Li's photography, Kitajima immediately created exhibitions and publications after shooting, releasing them monthly for a year. Similar to the coincidences and encounters abundant in Feng Li's photography, while enjoying cold beers at the photography bar *KODOJI on Shinjuku's Golden Street, we coincidentally encountered a tipsy Keizo Kitajima, who came to extend his stall.
Every day in Tokyo, Feng Li snapped pictures like a wild beast, leaving everyone exhausted. After each day's shoot, we immediately headed to the nearby 7-Eleven to print photos (once, due to printing too many, we actually ran out of photo paper at the convenience store). We then pasted the photos on the wall of the fourth-floor photography classroom at Place M for selection and editing.
During a conversation with Masato Seto, he evaluated Feng Li's photography as follows: "Photos have dual natures—surface and interior. Although mentioning the 'surface' in this context might carry a somewhat negative connotation, it doesn't apply to Feng Li's photography. The highly unified sense of flatness and vulnerability on the 'surface' precisely embodies the depth of his photographic works."
This lightweight, zine-like photography collection features 46 images that still bear Feng Li's distinctive style—even though it's his first time capturing Tokyo's streets. From a drunken man under a flashbulb to Daido Moriyama smoking, from city center graveyards to Cai Guo-Qiang's fireworks, Feng Li engages in a cross-temporal dialogue with his own photography and the Japanese photographic predecessors.