‘A MANIC ENERGY HARDLY SEEN SINCE WILLIAM KLEIN...
A VISION OF NEW YORK THAT WAS WAITING TO HAPPEN’
(Tokyo): (Buyakuya-shobo), (1982).
4to (295 x 210 mm), pp.188. 140 black-and-white photographs. Text by Kazuo Nishii in Japanese, interview with Kitajima by Akira Suei in English. Design by Kazu Yamazaki. Grey endpapers. Dark grey paper-covered boards, printed in tan, black, red, and white; touch of wear to extremities. Photo-illustrated dust-jacket; light creasing along top edge, light wear to top of rear spine-fold. Publisher’s second issue printed wraparound band, pink, text in black; lightly rubbed, light fading to spine and fore-edge, two nicks to rear. Near-fine with a very good band.
First edition. Keizo Kitajima was born in Nagano prefecture in 1954 and in 1974 moved to Tokyo to study law at Seikei University. The following year he left to join the Workshop Photography School, where he studied with Daido Moriyama, and in 1976 he co-founded the artist-run gallery Image Shop Camp together with Moriyama, Seiji Kurata, and three others. Between 1979-1980 Kitajima worked on two street photography projects: Photo Express Okinawa and Photo Express Tokyo, each of which was shown at Image Shop Camp in a yearlong series of monthly exhibitions which were accompanied by publications.
In 1981 Kitajima was given the Newcomers Award by the Photographic Society of Japan for his series on Tokyo. This allowed him to travel to New York and apply his theatrical style of street photography to capturing the energy of New York City at street level. Bringing ‘a manic energy hardly seen since William Klein, not even in Moriyama’s pictures... there are distinct whiffs of Weegee as well as Klein in his New York vision. Nevertheless, the photographer is as much under his own skin as that of the city, for this is a New York with a distinct feel of Shinjuku about it. Yet it is a vision of New York that was waiting to happen’ (Badger).
Parr and Badger, The Photobook: A History Vol.III p.222.