Tokyo Suburbia by Takashi Homma

Map tagged with the photos. All of the images above are iPhone screen captures.

"Published in 1998, and the Kimura Ihei Award winner of the year, this is one of Homma's masterpieces from his early years.

He managed to turn the not-so-photogenic objects such as houses in the suburbs, dull sceneries, video game arcades, stoney-faced kids, McDonald's, family restaurants, and parking lots, into a piece of work that has become a milestone in the history of Japanese photography. Architect, Momoyo Kaijima and the Sociologist, Shinji Miyadai contributed texts. The photobook has been dealt at a very high value in the secondhand market as it has already gone out of print, and the publisher dissolved. This book was also picked up in "The Photobook: A History volume II" written and edited by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger."  between the books

Format: App compatible with iPhone and iPad.

Price: $7.99

Links: iTunes and between the books

Comment: A wonderful book with great content and design. The app is a scan of a physical book, so you're getting a bit of the texture and feeling of the real book, which is highly collectible and therefore expensive these days. This app is a cheap and smart way to both get and grant access to this phenomenal body of work.


Content: 18/20

Design: 11/15

Value: 5/5

TOTAL: 34/40

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to argue on the content front; this is a very fine series of photos. I was also very surprised that the gutter crease in the photos didn't really bother me; the gutter would have bothered me in the printed book.

    The app, however, isn't without its problems. There are a couple of vertically oriented photos and when you turn the page to them, you'll see them horizontal. Naturally you'll rotate the iPad, only to learn then that leaning the device turns the pages. Rapidly. So, to look at the vertical photos properly, you have to either rotate your head or very carefully rotate the device while it's lying absolutely horizontal. This broke up my flow of enjoying the photos.

    Speaking of turning the pages, the best method seems to be to tap for the next page. I don't remember that being a method preferable, or even available, in other book-like apps (it may be prevalent, but I haven't noticed it). Swiping too enthusiastically can lead to many pages flipping over, a bit like when you lean the device to either side.

    I'll admit to not having gotten to reading the texts in the book, but the photos are great and apart from the annoying quirks of the app enjoyed the book very much. Some photos didn't look their best on the Retina display of my iPad 3, showing noticeable jaggies. I think it's most appropriate to take my issues with the app out on the Design rating. Overall the book is great and even with the niggles it's probably a great value, hence:

    Content: 18/20
    Design: 11/15
    Value: 5/5

    Total: 34/40


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