Photography Magazine

Juan: They’re a lot of different things. In creating them, they’re a way of making something that doesn’t have to hold the same weight as a fully-fledged photobook—they can be a way of exploring more experimental ideas quickly or act as sketches or drafts of something bigger.

It’s also a way of having a built in community—there are many small zine fairs across the country and it’s so easy now to meet people who share the same passion for creating them. There’s a pride that comes with having made something by hand and that’s a shared sentiment among those who make them.

Carlos: We use the term zine in a very contemporary manner that respects its roots but also attempts to explore its current state. A lot of the energy that went into producing the “fanzines” of the late 20th century is now residing in the blogosphere, where fans can indulge in just about any obsession instantaneously. People that are making zines today are as obsessed with zinemaking itself. The process relies on its independent, artist-made nature. Zines tend to connect the artist more directly with its intended audience, as opposed to a trade publication or a bespoke edition where the imprint of the publisher or gallery or other institution bodes heavily in that connection.

More here.

I would like to recommend you a totally delicious and inspiring piece about Tokyo’s vibrant scene of photographic art spaces, photobooks shops and artists’ meteing spaces. Signed by Kenji Takazawa, it originally appeared in Issue 11 of the Aperture Photography App.

Get a taste of it:

The most experimental photography in Japan has more often than not been produced by photographers operating outside the mainstream. Before the Second World War, the scene was found in amateur photographer clubs; after the war, independent galleries provided spaces for reflection. Many of these independent galleries were set up in the 1970s by photographers who had studied at the Workshop School run by Shomei Tomatsu and Daido Moriyama, in a bid to overcome the otherwise limited options for presenting their work to the public. At this time, mainstream photography was dominated by galleries that belonged to camera manufacturers. It didn’t help that photography tended to be held in low esteem by the art world. For young photographers bent on innovative photographic expression, they really had no other option but to set up and run their own places. These independent galleries, and the amazingly original work they produced, are important to understanding photography from Japan.


Shelves at the Photobook Diner Megutama


I have discovered recently an amazing fine art photography magazine: Square Mag, focused on and only square format photographs. You might see it a huge restriction, but actually forcing your shots to fit to the format, is be a great photographic challenge with amazing creative results.

Check out some issues!