Sokyu-sha, 2020. Edition of 300 copies. Hardcover. Edition of 300 copies, 104 b/w illustrations. 230 x 276 mm. Photographs by Takashi Hara. Text by Yoshitake Takahashi (Japanese / English). Design by Katsuya Kato.
Takashi Hara’s photobook “Yagi to toge” (Goat and Thorns) does not unlock itself to the viewer on the first quick browse-through. Its dark, slow photographs, taken with a medium-format Holga on black-and-white film, do not seem connected on first glance. But there is something about these pictures that hints at a deeper space hiding behind the surface; the longer one looks at the deep blacks and dazzling whites, the pictures reveal their true richness. As the pages add up and the impressions begin to overlap, Hara builds a strange new world of his own, of feelings like unease and allure – a world that evades being fully captured in words, one that can only be glanced at through photography.
“Looking at Yagi to Toge again after these thoughts, I strongly realized that photography exists somewhere beyond logic. Now I see why I could only say that his works gave me the impression of trying to grasp at the air. Indeed, Takashi Hara’s feelings are directly reflected in these photographs.” –– from writer Yoshitaka Takahashi’s essay.