BIBLE by Momo Okabe
Bible, a photography book by Momo Okabe (Japanese, 1981). Bible compiles Okabe’s recent works including many unpublished photographs taken in Tokyo, Miyagi and India between 2008 and 2014. This will be Okabe’s second US monograph published by Session Press following her unique artist book Dildo in 2013. Bible is a testament to the unwavering complexity of Okabe’s everyday life with her lovers and friends. Alongside their pursuance of a genuine identity and sense of belonging, Okabe unfolds the “sad, yet beautiful scenery that they could perceive after overcoming the long and difficult struggle out from their traumatic past.” The sincerity and depth of Okabe’s work is visceral; unwinding a sweetness within the tension of their collective alienation as if she has built a window into a kaleidoscopic heart. Okabe has been highly acclaimed by Nobuyoshi Araki at New Cosmos of Photography in 1999 and Masafumi Sanai at Epson Color Image in 2009 as well as by many other prestigious competitions in Japan. It is difficult, however, to position Okabe’s work into the norm of contemporary Japanese photography often associated with its perfection in composition and quiet meditation with subjects. Outside of the mainstream photo community, Okabe has pioneered her own electric yet sensitive color pallet to convey her overflowing emotions onto her work. In addition, she shifts away from the overtly intellectualized practice so prevalent in today’s contemporary photography scene and gives photography a refreshed power. Bible begins to reposition our critical perspectives towards a regeneration of compassion, intimacy, and camaraderie.