Séquences japonaises is the book of a flâneur. Michel Vermare, an amateur photographer born in 1945, has spent many years walking the streets of Tokyo. From these decades of wandering, he has drawn a set of bewitching images in which the city is revealed in a new light, peaceful and frozen in time, far from the teeming energy that we know.
The hundred or so photographs that make up this book are wrapped in a terracotta color cover held together by an elastic band, in the manner of the notebooks in which Michel Vermare has always recorded his Japanese impressions, as he “takes photographs like he takes notes”. Some extracts have been reproduced on insert pages, punctuating the series with his luminous writings.
Throughout the pages, we follow in the footsteps of the photographer, whose sharp eye captures the poetic comicalities of Tokyo’s everyday life: urban still lifes and parts of the street, face-to-face encounters between humans and animals, naps by the water or in a park, and numerous elusive silhouettes. The series is bathed in subdued quietude, giving it a certain strangeness.
The choice of shots and their layout magnify the strength of their composition, revealing Michel Vermare’s love of lines. He notes that “in the city, graphics are everywhere: streets tattooed with white signs, level crossings in yellow and black like bees, walls lined with rubbish bins, gas meters under the metal staircases of small popular dwellings, closed umbrellas hung on the facades, opened after the rain, bicycles, everywhere bicycles.
A photogeny which, like these images without dates or captions, escapes all temporality. This is the magic of this city, in permanent oscillation between tradition and modernity, whose unchanging atmosphere Michel Vermare has managed to transcribe in this beautiful love letter to Tokyo.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Michel Vermare – Séquences japonaises
Book size 23 x 16,5 cm
Limited edition of 400
In all good bookshops and online