Edition : First / Tokyo / Kawade Shobo Shinsha / 1991 / Hardcover. / VG+ / VG+ Oblong 4to,160pp. White boards in dustwrapper with Obi. Numerous Colour and Black & White plates. Text in English and Japanese. Faint foxing to titlepage. Small closed tear and a little sun fading to Obi.
“Taken in a cross section of world cities, both Eastern and Western – Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague – A.D.1991 concentrates both on the face of the cities and the faces of their inhabitants at the end of the 1980s. His conclusions are bleak. As Yasuo Kobayashi writes in one of the book’s essays, it is ‘a kind of album of anguish’. Kitajima alights on two facets of the modern city – the anonymous International Style architecture of the city’s commercial quarter and the distracted expressions of its citizens as they travel the hectic, crowded streets. By cutting between long views of the urban topography, taken when devoid of people and traffic, and close-ups of individuals during busy workdays, he draws a comparison between the stern, calm anonymity of the corporate architecture and the anxious denizens scurrying in the shadow of the buildings. Kitajima may be making an obvious point, but he makes it with both verve and elegance, in the manner of a contemporary Yasuhiro Ishimoto.” One of the greats.