Go To Become, the poetic new art book of Jörgen Axelvall

March 27, 2017 5:00 PM

TWELV is excited to announce Tokyo-based, photographer Jörgen Axelvall’s new exhibition and book release, Go To Become. In 2011, Axelvall moved to Tokyo after living in New York City for 15 years. Being new in town is not an easy thing, especially when the “town” is Tokyo and you were born on the other side of the globe, in Sweden. The Japanese capital is a magical city where you can feel in your flesh that an exciting discovery is waiting at every corner of every street. But it can also be a lonely, isolating place for an outsider trying to connect to the city and its people. In this way, Jörgen was pushed to seek for safe havens, calm and unfrequented places, oases of peace in the middle of the ecstatic metropolis. 

Little by little, the artist became more familiar with his new home, but he never forgot the feelings he had upon first arriving to Japan, a time during which he harnessed the city’s always-flowing-energy to create new art. In September 2013, he won the prestigious New Exposure Award presented by US Vogue and Bottega Veneta in New York City. Some of the pictures honored by this award are now found in Go To Become, a several-years-long project published in a limited edition of 600 copies. At the time when the jury asked about the story of Jörgen’s work, he explained:

 

I live in a big city

the biggest in the world by some measure

I’m a foreigner here

at times I feel trapped, alienated and lonely 

amongst the millions of people calling this home

 

These images were all photographed in central Tokyo 

not far from my home in Shibuya

at the sanctuaries

where I find peace

In his biographical book, Jörgen Axelvall’s feelings were captured alongside his pictures through a beautiful collaboration with one of the most prolific poets in Japan, Mutsuo Takahashi. After listening to the photographer’s story and seeing his pictures, Takahashi wrote the poem “Go To Become” (in Japanese なり に行く) to gracefully accompany the photographs. TWELV invites you to see the very elegant work– for the lucky ones in Tokyo– that is. The exhibition will be held at Bookmark Tokyo from April 1st to 9th, and there will be a book signing session with Jörgen on opening day.

 

 

WRITTEN BY LOUISE GUILLOT

EDITED BY HOLLIS DE LANEY

 

PHOTO CREDIT: JÖRGEN AXELVALL

 

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