Publisher: White-Press/Peperoni Books
Size: 20 x 27 cm (approx.)
Hardcover, cloth bound, edition of 500 handnumbered and signed copies. Text by Jens Liebchen, design by Helge Schlaghecke. WP #18.
"The tradition of tree shaping has come to assume an emblematic role in Japanese culture. Trees and shrubs in Japanese gardens are often drastically modified. Sculptors both control the location of the trees and manipulate the growth of trunks, branches, and leaves. Little, if anything, is left to nature. (Jens Liebchen)
What seems to be a fairy-forest with dancing trees in winter-wonderland emerges as a real size bonsai park in central Tokyo. Jens Liebchen creates an image of both: Japanese culture in an area of conflict and mere beauty." (from the publisher)
"Jens Liebchen´s book ›System‹ is a delight with a false bottom.
The pictures show a magical winter wonderland, a deserted, pris-tine snowy landscape with beautifully sprouted trees, that emerge, individually or in groups, filigree, snow-covered and delicate green on the branches from the soft white and gray surroundings. A natural spectacle of perfect beauty.
So it seems - but it is not that simple.
Jens Liebchen has taken the pictures in the outer part of the Imperial Palace Garden in central Tokyo. Here and there in the dense snowstorm we see cars bowl along in the background and isolated shadowy towering skyscraper silhouettes, that darken the sky. And for the trees, nature has supplied only the material. Placement, growth, size and shape are defined by people and planned down to the smallest detail. With his photographs Jens Liebchen, who lived in Tokyo for three years, reflects firm principles of the Japanese social system.
Nevertheless, the series is intriguing because of its great beauty, and the same goes for the book itself. Excellently designed by Helge Schlaghecke, printed in the finest quality and manufactured as clothbound hardcover with embossed title and tipped in image on the back the book is a bibliophilic gem." (Hannes Wanderer, Peperoni Books, Co-Publisher)