Jack Whitefield and his blurry mission to Japan, a trip to follow the style of the photographers he has grown looking up to.
Jack Whitefield - “My college days mostly consisted of drizzly dark mornings, I would sit slouched in a cold plastic chair situated at the back of a poorly lit library, bored, and waiting for my headache to kick in. The only thing that kept me inspired was flicking through a small dusty collection of Japanese photography books and letting myself become mesmerised by these atmospheric images. These books were filled with these intense, gritty, dark textured film photographs, they felt a world away from the white sandy surf beaches of Cornwall, and I used to wonder what it would be like to be a photographer or a surfer living there. The images from these books were abstract and rebellious, something I was immediately drawn to as teenager.
Years later I still find Japanese photography a massive influence, guys like Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi and Takuma Nakahira who were all involved with ‘Provoke‘ -an experimental magazine involving poetry, criticism and of course photography. They released 3 issues between 1968-69 that had a massive effect on the '60’s-'70’s Japanese photography. They all have a unique and powerful athsetic and this all seems to circulate somewhere in my head whilst taking a photograph or making a zine/book.
So I now have this picture of Japan fully formed in my head, from its crowded city’s full of innovation and flashing lights, to the vast coastline and traditional culture. I feel I’ve got the patience to properly explore Japan. I am at a stage where its almost a rage to see and I am interested in how a young British bloke might look upon the country.”
We needed to make space in Backwash for Jack’s work and vision, it is the greatest pleasure of being publishers. These include beautiful supporting words by Mike Lay, calligraphy from the the masterful pen of Takashi Kamigori and a simple elegant design by Chris McClean. What Jack saw and translated is here forever now in a limited edition run of 75 hand signed and numbered 16 page zines.