If someone forced me to pick a favorite living photographer, my pick would be Daisuke Yokota. If I had to then select just one photobook from his rather vast amount of work, I’d pick Taratine.
Comprised of photographs and a moving essay penned by Yokota, Taratine is his most personal work to date. Taratine brings together two bodies of new work—one from a road trip to Tohoku in 2007, and a second taken in Tokyo in 2014. The Tohoku photographs were inspired by Yokota happening upon an ancient ginkgo tree in the Aomori prefecture. Called “Taratine”, this tree has been worshiped by generations of women for its legendary fertility-enhancing properties. Yokota was reminded both of the Tohoku region’s traditional—and lingering—connection to the awe of natural spirits (the influence of Jomon-period animism) and of memories from his own childhood.
Yokota pushes his photographs to the point of abstraction (and beyond) but there’s always a sense of place, a mood, a longing (unfulfilled?).
Taratine was published by New York City–based Session Press in 2015:
—8″ x 11″
—Edition of 500
The collection also includes a group of beautiful thick thermographic prints:
And more than a nod to Masahisa Fukase.
And a poster: