Keitata: A Gap in the Landscape

Kusaka Keita might look like he’s selling crates of fruit and vegetables in this weekend’s Tai Kwun Contemporary’s Hong Kong Art Book Fair, but walk by on your way towards the bougey room where the Taschen books are and you’ll miss this hand-bound beauty.

A copywriter from Osaka, Kusaka took hundreds of photos for his photo blog, “隙ある風景“, over the span of a decade. Taken in a country where external appearances matter on the individual and corporate level, all of the photos are hilarious, and heartachingly human.

The eponymously named photo book itself is another human beauty. Kusaka has taken a few hundred of his favorites, hand-bound the covers from used cardboard boxes, and stuck a different photo on each of them, so literally every book he sells is different. (He explains the binding process here on his blog.) There’s a cover with a deer (presumably from Nara) and some senbei placed on its head. Another has a shopkeeper dozing off in the mid-afternoon. (Kusaka told me that no one gave him permission to take any of the people’s photos.)

The book is a little pricey at HK$500 (or 6578 yen in Japan), but for me it was worth it because awkward pictures of Japanese everyday life is right up my alley. If you’re in Hong Kong this weekend, do check out Mr. Kusaka. He’ll sign his free postcards.