london/honcon 1980


"April 1980 found me in London for the second time. There in Soho Square, just off Dean street, I claimed my own personal park bench. Each day about the same time, after finishing my work cleaning up at a film laboratory, IŽd go sit and watch the people in the square. The passers-by and the drunks. It was then that I made a discovery. That is, that people all seem to live at different speeds. And that the best way to catch those speeds was to completely disengage my vision from those subjects I wished to capture and simply draw. Quickly, all at once, without looking at the paper or point of my pencil. And somehow those pencil sketches just naturally took on the aspect of "life studies." Such was my first encounter with a way of seeing, a way of drawing that were all my own.

In August of that year I left London for Hong Kong. The isles of Xianggang, the port of Honcon. It was again my second time there, however thanks to this technique of pencil drawing - my own newfound telescope - I was now able to take in the bustling traffic and street scenes poised at that subtle vantage point between my inner self and the world outside.

Ultimately I ended up with four small notebooks and three sketchbooks of drawings, from which I have selected those pages I still enjoy and put together this collection. Six years on, looking over these pictures of another time once more, thinking back on those days, I am struck by an another simple notion. That paper and pencil are truly great inventions of humanity. I find myself marvelling at the essential straight-forwardness of that combination. Paper and pencil, pure and simple." (Shinro Ohtake; London, July 1986)

Book details:

144 pages

Normal edition (scarce): 144 pages, full color; Book size: 18.2 by 12.8 cm (B6); Color Box: 24.5 by 16.2
Unfortunately sold out!

Limited edition of 300 (scarce): Book size: 18.8 by 13.5 cm; Case: 28.5 by 21.1 cm. 200 hand-attached printed swatches reproduced from printed matter collected in London and Hong Kong. Hardcover bound in black cloth. 1 etchings. 2 small four-color posters of "London/Honcon 1980". Clothbound case with color box. Won the Grand Prize of ADC 1987.
Unfortunately sold out!

Re-Mix edition of 50 (scarce): 400 pages, full color; Book size: 18.8 by 13.4 cm; Case: 19.7 by 13.8 cm. Follows the 1980s fashion for re-mixing pop records by adding further layers of color and image to the already densely worked pages.

Year: 1986

Prices: please inquire

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