One of my favorite photobooks of 2016, Daisuke Yokota’s MATTER / BURNOUT, is more like a series of mysterious film stills, in grainy black-and-white and near-pure-liquid color. The book beckons with its abstract beauty, and rewards all kinds of reading—from front to back, or back to front, or random opening, or a slow flip through the pages.

The book is an object of art in itself, and a wordless meditation about matter and materiality, beauty, creation, destruction and temporality.

The back-story only adds a bit of understanding, and takes away some of the alluring seduction of the experience, so I won’t reveal any more here.

Suffice to say that the photographer/author is a young Japanese man who has leapt onto the world stage of international art in recent years—FOAM Talent, Paul Huf Award recipient, exhibited at Arles’ Discovery Awards, among many others—and he continues to astound, impress and inspire.

If you like abstraction, and excellence in book design, and have the opportunity to hold the book in your hands, I am confident that you will find much to like there. Highly recommended.

—Jim Casper


MATTER / BURN OUT
by Daisuke Yokota

304 pages, color and black-and-white
Edition: 1,000 copies
Publisher: artbeat publishers, September 2016