hardback, 258mmx258mm 48 pages,
32 duo tone photographs
Tosei-sha 2013, ¥2,500+tax
Masayo Ito’s Standard Temperature, a collection of family portraits taken between
1979 -1981, began its life as a student project for Ito when she was a BFA student at
Musashino Art University’s Department of Visual Communication Design in Tokyo.
In fact, it was her graduation thesis and garnered her the Department’s “Laboratory
Prize”. Her biography characterizes Standard Temperature as “photos from random
visits with Tokyo families”, which would imply she just pounded on apartment flats
randomly until she found subjects willing to sit for portraits. The results, however,
belie such arbitrariness, and without any background knowledge — Ito’s own after-
word is itself ambiguous about who these people are — one feels sure that even if
not Ito’s own friends and family, Ito must have known these people fairly well to
capture them as intimately as she has done.
— “Japan Exposures” by Kurt Easterwood, 2013
幸福論：Theory of Happiness
This collection represents the first half of a set of over one thousand photographs
taken of families in the metropolitan area from 2006 to 2010. The subjects are
principally young nuclear families that Ito encountered in the street or in parks.
As one turns the pages, the expressions on people's faces, gestures and their clothing
suggest a very loquacious expressiveness, and it is this loquaciousness that seems to
interrogate the happiness of contemporary city life. Ito says, "The viewfinder was
blindingly bright, yet I tried to use direct light in the portraiture." The photographer
was undoubtedly engrossed in her subjects, standing amidst rays of pouring light.
hardback, 225mmx282mm 96 pages,
65 colour plates
ItoDesign 2008, ¥4,300+tax