Shomei Tomatsu : Skin of the Nation
Leo RubinfienISBN: 0300106041; 9780300106046;
Amazon.comA beer bottle that withstood the atom bomb blast in Nagasaki is the subject of Shomei Tomatsu's most famous photograph. Mysterious and repulsive, the object looks like a deformed fetus. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Tomatsu has created strikingly ambiguous images that hint at tensions simmering below the surface of Japanese life. Shomei Tomatsu: Skin of the Nation is the first English-language survey of this brilliantly idiosyncratic photographer's work. Grouped by theme, morethan 100 images contain subtle layers of meaning. On a Tokyo street in 1962, an abandoned high-heeled shoe, a cigarette butt, and a crumpled piece of tinfoil (likely from a stick of American chewing gum) are bitter souvenirs of a night on the town. A fewyears later, Tomatsu captured the sense of isolation that envelops both a lone protestor and a shadowy group of policemen. In Okinawa, Tomatsu photographed both the U.S. military presence and the traditional way of life that persisted...