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Art Photobook Reviews

At a glance - The Hidden Blood (Red Edition) by Nozomi Iijima

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

There were two versions of the book, the first which was termed the “trade edition”, and this one “The Red Editon” which was produced to order during the period of the exhibition for the Reminders Project (10th Jan to 8th Feb 2015), this is copy number 17.

Nozomi Iijima’s family own and run a livestock farm in Japan.

Through the farming, treatment and ultimately slaughter of their animals, she seeks to “question and value the meaning of life”. The hidden blood.

This stunning hand made “photobook” is wonderful example of the “art of the photobook as object”.

It comprises an unbound collection of gatefolded pages. Each of the ten gatefolds containing an original black and white print.

Images presented in grainy monochrome are contrasted with black and red, a glow which bathes the whole project with an austere almost funereal tone.

The landscape, the farm and the animals themselves all feature in this tag relay of flow and design.

The images to the rear of each gatefold continue to the front of the next. These black and white sheets are unfolded to reveal a further image within. Its hidden blood red secret, a loose black and white print cradled within each fold in completion.

The entire chain of pages existing in partnership with its neighbour.

A novel, its sequence non negotiable.

The selected matt paper somehow completes the austere energy that radiates from the entire assembly.

The book is contained in a wide printed card obi band, signed and numbered by the artist.

The attention to detail throughout is meticulous, and even though unbound, it is incredible to think that The Hidden Blood is entirely handmade

1 Comment

May 27, 2021

Excellent review, RT!

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