RED STRING BY YOSHIKATSU FUJII
I received a text message. "Today, our divorce was finalized." The message from my mother was written simply, even though she usually sends me messages with many pictures and symbols.
I remember that I didn't feel any particular emotion, except that the time had come.
Because my parents continued to live apart in the same house for a long time, their relationship gently came to an end over the years. It was no wonder that a draft blowing between the two could completely break the family at any time.
In Japan, legend has it that a man and woman who are predestined to meet have been tied at the little finger by an invisible red string since the time they were born.
Unfortunately, the red string tying my parents together came undone, broke, or perhaps was never even tied to begin with. But if the two had never met, I would never have been born into this world. If anything, you might say that there is an unbreakable red string of fate between parent and child.
Before long, I found myself thinking about the relationship between my parents and I. How many days could I see my parents living far away? What if I couldn't see them anymore? Since I couldn't help feeling extremely anxious about it, I was driven to visit my parents' house many times.
Every day I engage in awkward conversation with my parents, as if in a scene in their daily lives. I adapt myself to them, and they shift their attitude toward me. We do not give way entirely to the other side, but rather meet halfway.
Indeed family problems remain unresolved, although sometimes we tell allegorical stories and share feelings. It means a lot to us that our perspectives have changed with communication.
My family will probably never be all together again. But I feel without a doubt that there is proof inside of each of us that we once lived together. To ensure that the red string that ties my family together does not come undone, I want to reel it in and tie it tight.
“Many entries this year featured a dual structure but this one, with two separate bound books, one on either side of the cover’s interior, is both logical and allows multiple readings.”
- Anne Wilkes Tucker, photography curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
"The split binding allows the reader to page through one side and then the other, but the powerfulness comes from pairing both halves together. In this delicate and personal family album, Yoshikatsu Fujii ties the memory of his family back together with the cultural metaphor of red string."
- Larissa Leclair, Founder of the Indie Photobook Library
"I feel this totally hand-made book features the bonds of human. The title comes from some old Japanese saying that a woman and a man who have fate to encounter is tied with red string on their little fingers together. The book shows us a simple thing, a man needs a man anyway. Also I like warmness of the touch sense of this binding by the photographer himself. "
- Hisako Motoo, independent curator and editor
"The human heart is a muscular organ. Yoshikatsu Fujii’s Red String is an exquisite book.
From cover to content, the dual nature of love and family is beautifully and brilliantly explored. Fujii’s depiction of divorce is compellingly original in its design, composition, and voice...This remarkable work demonstrates a rare, seamless integrity where the physical form perfectly mirrors the emotional tone, each serving the other. A harmonic study of dissonance."
- John Phelan, collector
十幾年來，尋找攝影集一直是我在攝影創作和工作之外的另一種閱讀延伸。不久前收到藤井Yoshikatsu的”Red String” (紅線) 攝影集，果真是截然不同的觸感。聚焦在離婚的雙親與自身間的心境糾結，援引紅線與攝影的絲絲纏繞，加上由作者手工製作，溫潤的手感，真實的境遇，隱私的告白，純粹的相逢和無奈的別離，翻閱完仍是讓人情牽眷戀，但也沉默無語！
- 沈昭良 Shen Chao-Liang, Photographer
A "beautifully crafted book that articulates the breakdown of a family marriage through archival imagery," The Red String is a reflection on the emotional bonds, promises, and truths that are bound up at the crux of any human relationship.
The "heartfelt storyline" is widely relatable, and "will bring a tear to anyone's eye."
- David Alan Harvey, Magnum Photographer, Founder, Burn Magazine
Red String (original hand-made edition)
Publication: July 2014
Book Size: 16.5 x 22.5 cm
Page: 35 pages × 2 books
Design: Yoshikatsu Fujii, Yumi Goto, Jan Rosseel
Edit: Yoshikatsu Fujii, Yumi Goto, Jan Rosseel
hand-bound with the author
Text: Japanese and English
Limited Edition of 35 copies, numbered and signed
There are two kinds of front cover images.
・Japanese wedding dress (ed.1〜15)
・Western wedding dress (ed.16〜35)
Red String (trade edition)
Publication: March 2016
Handmade soft cover
Weight: 380 gr.
Size: 16 x 22,5 cm. / 6.2″ x 8.85″
96 pages, 90 photographs
Edition of 500
Printed: Grafiche dell’Artiere, Italy
Sorry, RED STRING book is out of stock. If you want to purchase the book, please contact bookstores below or publisher for inquiries about that.
Best Photobooks Lists
LensCulture 2016 Photobooks of the Year: 32 Personal Favorites, Selected by David Alan Harvey (Magnum Photographer, Founder, Burn Magazine)
The Ultimate List of 2014 Best Photobooks on Fotografia Magazine
TIME Picks the Best Photobooks of 2014: Selected by Larissa Leclair, Founder of the Indie Photobook Library
EMAHO Picks the Most Interesting Photobooks 2014: Selected by Hisako Motoo, Independent Curator and Editor
Awards and Honors
2016 Lucie Awards for Book Publisher of the Year: Limited and Special Edition - Nominated
Photobook Award Maribor - Selected Special Mention
The Author Book Award, The Rencontres d'Arles 2016 - Nominated
The Anamorphosis Prize - Jury Special Mention by John Phelan
Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards 2014 - First Photobook Prize - Finalist
Filter Photo Festival 2014 - Photobook Exhibition - Juror's choice award: Juried by Gregory Harris, Assistant Curator of the DePaul Art Museum
INFOCUS Juried Exhibtion of Self-Published Photobooks 2014 - Finalist
Mt.ROKKO ZINE & PHOTO BOOK COLLECTION 2014: Selected by Ihiro Hayami, Director of the Tokyo Institute of Photography
IMA (2015 Summer Vol.12)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Library
Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., New York USA
Hong Kong Baptist University
San Telmo Museum "Gabriela Cendoya Bergareche Collection" San Telmo, SPAIN