INCIPIENT STRANGERS BY YOSHIKATSU FUJII
Siblings can be incipient strangers. Even siblings sharing the same blood can become distant and turn into strangers to each other as they each grow and forge their own path in life. Sometimes, we fail to hit it off with friends and eventually lose touch. But with family, no matter how brittle the relationship, it cannot be severed. This makes things even more difficult.
With family, we take liberties to say harsh words and give unwanted advice. With family, we have the sense that our actions will mostly be permitted, and we end up creating an irreparable rift. Had this accretion of incidents caused my parents' divorce? Since coming to see things that way, I decided to try looking at my family as strangers.
That meant not standing on formality, but taking pains to consider the other party and work around their needs. If my family were total strangers to me, how would they react if I did such and such? I asked myself these questions and endeavored to avoid unnecessary meddling.
In my honest experience, this approach does not feel as if one is truly valuing the other's existence, and there was something unpleasantly awkward about it. However, the process made me realize that everyone in a family has the same internal conflicts and faces each other with this set of contradictions. This struggle creates each person's image of what that family is. It was through this process that I at last began to see, for the first time, something like the start of our family.
"The way the disparate images work together is sublime, and this feels remarkably accomplished; rereading of this book offers more and more clues each time, and reminds us of the complex nature of connection to those people who know us so well. Fujii’s second book doesn’t look as pretty as the first, but it packs more of a punch." - Daniel Boetker-Smith, Director of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive
"Incipient Strangers, by Yoshikatsu Fujii stood out to me because of it's great use of design and layout. The playfulness of the layout and the way the images can be arrange and deconstructed really spoke to me in a way I would curate an exhibition or zine. The size was perfect for the mix of large portraits and documentary work and the way you could take it all apart with the tear away cover was great design work." - Matt Martin, Founder / Curator - The Photocopy Club, Curator - Doomed Gallery
Published on the heels of Fujii's sold out Red String, Incipient Strangers looks at the relationship of siblings. How does the inherent blood relationship affect the way we treat our family? As Fujii writes, "[S]iblings can be incipient strangers. Even siblings sharing the same blood can become distant and turn into strangers to each other as they each grow and forge their own path in life. Sometimes, we fail to hit it off with friends and eventually lose touch. But with family, no matter how brittle the relationship, it cannot be severed... With family, we take liberties to say harsh words and give unwanted advice. With family, we have the sense that our actions will mostly be permitted, and we end up creating an irreparable rift." - Larissa Leclair, Indie Photobook Library
Awards and Honors
Unveil'd Photobook Award 2015 - Winner (Selected by Matt Martin)
Self Publishing PHOTOLUX Award 2015 - Winner
Nopx Artist’s book contest - Winner
Dummy Award Kassel 2015 - Shortlist
The Photobook Show, Athens Photo Festival 2015 - Shortlist
PHotoEspaña 2015 Best Photography Book of the Year Award - Best Self-Publishing Photobooks Category - Shortlist
Hong Kong Baptist University
Large Format Edition
Publication: March 2015
Book Size: A3 (29.7cm X 42cm)
Page: 90 pages
Binding: Unbound softcover
Print: Digital Offset print
Photography, Composition and Texts by Yoshikatsu Fujii
Editorial coordination and Art direction by Yumi Goto
In collaboration with Reminders Photography Stronghold
photo-eye Bookstore / USA
IMA Concept Store / Japan