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Masafumi Sanai

Masafumi Sanai is considered as one of the members of the twentieth century Japanese photojournalists who focus on insignificant and trivial events with such grace and precision. Photo critics define his work as “controlled spontaneity.” At first look, most people perceive his images as photographic results of compulsion. But when you take a longer look at it, you will realize that the shots are planned and well-set.

Sanai’s muse is the Japanese capital of Tokyo. His shots are mostly robust images of edifices and engineering marvels of the city. Critics love his compilation entitled “Wakaranai,” which consists of images which seem random at first look. The mundane object in the street, such as a parked car under a thick layer of snow, is one of the book’s highlights.

The way he gives life to seemingly irrelevant objects and happenings has earned him the Excellence Award from the 12th New Cosmos of Photography competition last 1995. His photo compilation “MAP,” published in 2002, gave him the notable 28th Kimura Ihei Award for Commemorative Photography.

In 2008, Sanai went independent by creating his own photo book printing company named TAISHOU. From this company came “Rarry,” his 12th photo compendium, which he released just last March 2012.



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