Go Itami is a Japanese photographer whose images document the world through a compelling use of colour, repetition and layering and regularly publishes photo books.
A lot of your work is published in a book format, how does your newest publication ‘this year’s model’ build on your previous publications ?
I should say I haven’t done any series work. It is more like I keep going on a same direction and capturing or observing something that I’m interested in at that moment. The present work influences the next work and continues to be updated.
When exhibiting the series, it looks like you have many different physical elements within the exhibition space, manipulating the presentation of the works itself. What does this process bring to the work ?
I’m interested in the system of exhibition, especially when a certain period of time / space becomes your own territory and people come to see that. When you say photo exhibition, people will imagine that there will be photos hanging on the wall. However, taking photographs and seeing the photograph itself is more complex and contains a physical act. Whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, it’s not only about a sense of visuality, but bodily sensation using five senses. When I’m presenting my photography in some spaces, I try to use the space in a way that I can’t do in a book format. What I want to capture, is what photography is for me. How do I recognise photography. There is a desire that I want to show a stage before I actually take photos. Based on these things, when I constitute the space there is reasoning why I don’t only use photography on paper but through several different materials.
Do you regard the ‘photo book’ to be an ever integral part of the photography community ?
I think it’s necessary and will continue to be so. The big reason for that is the material of a photo is paper, it will not easily disappear and sometimes people should see the direct intention of photographers.
How is your working process, do you take a lot of these images through your daily life, or do you go out intending to produce work? Do you ever mix the two types of images, personal work with ‘diary’ shots ?
I will say it’s mixed. I don’t draw a line between making stuff and daily life. If there is good light coming out from the window when I wake up, I capture that. I bring my camera with me when I feel like it, that’s my life style.
I have read that This Year’s Model is a “culmination of your thinking about photography in recent years”, how has it changed over this period ?
Until today, I tried to make my photography plane, since it’s plane. However, as long as I do something with it, it always becomes two dimensional. I’m interested in making two dimension into something that looks like three dimensional shape or has depth. I’m interested in various types of photography and I’m trying to make photography without only going through camera.
What was the inspiration behind the project ?
Elvis Costello’s 1st & 2nd album, Attitude and Melody.
“Whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, it’s not only about a sense of visuality, but bodily sensation using five senses”
What names / institutions have inspired your work over the years & more recently ?
The History of Japanese Photography by Settai Komura.
What projects do you have planned for the future?
I haven’t decided yet. I would like to hold my show in different counties.
What are your feelings about Instagram?
I personally don’t use it. However, it’s interesting that people are interested in pictures of other people took. I guess there is some clue that they use square format.