Photobooks of 2021: Nao Amino

Mao Ishikawa

Face to Face by Seiichi Furuya, Chose Commune

When he was photographing his wife, his wife was photographing him. It’s as simple as that. Yet, that in itself holds great meaning; these are the gifts left behind by his late-wife Christine and all the same, they imply that the photographer cannot run away from facing the portraits of his wife. The images of Christine, destined to be published over and over again as photobooks, are repeatedly overwritten in our memories. Beautiful yet sad, I am overwhelmed by the fate of how this book came out to this world.

Cloud Physics by Terri Weifenbach, Atelier EXB / The Ice Plant   

For Terri Weifenbach who has always photographed natural landscapes, this book is her new ground where she challenges nature by incorporating scientific research. The weather we live under is filled with mysteries of infinite beauty. A realm we cannot control which sometimes, is a threat to our lives. No two days are the same and all things are an accumulation of every slight change; this is one that makes us recognize these subtleties. Perhaps a coincidence, the fact that this book was sent out to the world during the current pandemic is significant. I wish to celebrate the release of such a book.

Bad Ass and Beauty - One Love by Mao Ishikawa, T&M Projects

Although originally published as an exhibition catalog, this is one photobook that is so powerful it is hard to believe it was produced by human hands. It is the essence of her life as an artist who has always faced her subjects with her full effort over the past years and thus she shed light on their lives through photographs. Set in Okinawa, a place with a very particular position within Japan, her images reveal all beautiful yet ugly human personalities. An invaluable book in the sense also, as a record of an era.

Nao Amino runs the independent publisher, torch press, while working as an editor of the photography magazine, IMA. After graduating Ochanomizu Women’s University with a major in Life Sciences, she was involved in editing artbooks at the publishers Little More and FOIL, and started freelance work in 2011. She has been in the editorial team of IMA since its establishment in 2012, and in 2013, she started her own independent publishing house, torch press. Other than editing artbooks, she participates in a wide array of activities—such as artist management, organizing exhibitions and events, and writing for magazines.


Bad Ass and Beauty - One Love by Mao Ishikawa, T&M Projects
Cloud Physics by Terri Weifenbach, Atelier EXB / The Ice Plant   

Terri Weifenbach