Sou by Koji Takiguchi

Sou by Koji Takiguchi


Sou is perhaps one of the most concisely direct photo journals concerning family life and death that exists.

To lay it bare, Sou begins as Koji Takiguchi’s mother-in-law is dying of cancer, and very quickly we are introduced her husband whose health and sanity begins to crumble shortly after her death.

Through this intelligent arrangement, Takiguchi has permitted the viewer a catharsis of sorts, by unflinchingly recording both his own harrowing and euphoric experiences, and deftly delivering a document of profound grace and depth. Sou delivers refutation to Barthes’ statement that “every photograph is [a] catastrophe,” as Sou suggests that collective life itself is not only to end in the catastrophe but to also begin in wonder. The past, present, and future are in accordance, bittersweet, but an ultimately harmonious coexistence.

The book concludes with infant Takiguchi’s son pointing to the shadows—in some was a literal acknowledgment of the coexistence of both dark and light in equal measure. Seen, though, in more spiritual terms, there exists an awareness that in the shadows of our forebears, they’re no longer with us, but no longer without us either.

116 pages. First edition softcover. This item is final sale.

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