Michael Wolf’s “Tokyo Compression” focuses on the craziness of Tokyo’s underground system. For his shots he has chosen a location which relentlessly provides his camera with new pictures minute per minute. Every day thousands and thousands of people enter this subsurface hell for two or more hours, constrained between glass, steel and other people who roll to their place of work and back home beneath the city. In Michael Wolf’s pictures we look into countless human faces, all trying to sustain this evident madness in their own way.

Before Michael Wolf other artists have created subway series, among them famous names such as Bruce Davidson and Walker Evans, the concept of “Tokyo Compression” however is new. Michael Wolf is not interested in seat cushions, graffiti or interior architecture. He discovered the subway system as suitable place in order to investigate mental state and aggregate condition of the city people. Wolf leaves out all accessories, focuses just faces and figures. With his radical aesthetics he creates enormously intensive pictures, that in a distressing, yes shocking manner directly aim into the passengers thoughts and feelings.

With his accompanying essay TOKYO SUBWAY DREAMS Christian Schüle delivers a gloomy diagnosis to the mass loneliness in the underground.

Hard to handle, this book, but very, very good.
Peperoni Books, 2010 /// 200 x 250 mm /// 112 pages /// 75 color illustrations /// hardcover /// English

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