Paul Graham


Paul Graham
Empty Heaven: Photographs from Japan 1989-1995

Rare first edition of this 1995 photo-book by British photographer Paul Graham.

Empty Heaven. Tengoku Wa Lusu.

“Any painful echoes appear to have been wrapped, made bearable, candy coating the psyche against the bitterness of memory. There’s a line of thought that one should forget about trying to get to the center of things and concentrate instead on the wrapping, on the method of concealment, and that gave me my key orientation to this work.”

In these visceral photographs Paul Graham scrutinizes the scar tissue of contemporary Japanese society. He identifies a collective amnesia still obscuring decades after the end of WW II the memory of unconditional surrender and total defeat. At the same time he scrutinizes the benevolent and polite surfaces of Japanese culture that mask the power structures underlying it.

A portrait of a young girl and an elderly statesman, an atom flash and a candy wrapper, a segment of a historic photograph and blossoming cherry trees: Paul Graham’s visual language lays bare the hidden traumas underneath the trivial. Sometimes a pink bow can be evocative of a mushroom cloud. Graham takes pictures of the visible world to evoke the invisible play of forces structuring it. Empty Heaven shows a claustrophobic, obsessive, overdetermined society that won’t yield its secrets to foreign intruders.

* Condition: Very Good (clean, tight copy with only general bumping and wear to the original dust-jacket and cover) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

Paul Graham - Empty Heaven
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