Texts by Rosa J. H. Berland, Anthony Haden-Guest, and Jonathan Goodman
Published by Orange Art Foundation
7 December 2023 | Hardback | £32
Press images here
Just to Land in Tokyo is an illustrated narrative of bright colours and strange vignettes, exploring contemporary identity and the international experience.
Half book, half work of art, Just to Land in Tokyo is a charming New York love story about German photographer Hans and Japanese Jazz singer and bass player Yuma, whom he met while she was performing in The Blue Note Jazz Club. This is the beginning of a scenario that may or may not be true. The story of Hans’s overheated imagination about a girl who may be completely made up. The book’s format comes close to a monologue involving events that may never have happened – in the end, we’re not sure whether Hans ever existed at all.
Just to Land in Tokyo tells a beautiful love story that could easily have happened in New York. The authors, multimedia artists Kuzma Vostrikov and Ajuan Song, work together to create a photographic collaboration imbued with fashionable surrealism. The visual images complementing the narrative show feelings and loneliness through the use of masks, faces, isolation and reincarnation.
The book came about as the duo wanted to create a novel about New York and its loneliness, with improvisational visual content. Kuzma – filmmaker, artist and writer – is Ajuan’s mannequin who was used as the main character of the photographs. As active participants in the artistic process, throughout Just to Land in Tokyo, Kuzma and Ajuan explore how one overcomes distance to settle in a new, unknown place and the challenges of running away from their loneliness. Having both moved separately to New York, they have both experienced their share of discomfort and finding where they belong.
Ajuan and Kuzma’s aim is to remind people that love exists, one just has to learn how to fly properly, that you can still become a superhero and the big city is a true monster, but you can be a winner.
The book features an introduction written by Rosa J.H. Berland; Hans and Yuma: A New York Love Story written by Jonathan Goodman and Guest On written by Anthony Haden-Guest. All photographs were taken by Ajuan Song and Kuzma Vostrikov.
Film maker and visual artist Kuzma Vostrikov’s practice reflects diverse interests including the role of technology in contemporary society, psychology, and history. The artist’s work is found in international collections including the CICA Museum, Korea, The Yokyung Art Museum, Korea and The Museum of Russian Art, New Jersey.
Ajuan Song’s artistic practice includes analog, digital photography and multimedia works. In addition to a classical Chinese education, Song’s time in Africa has informed her aesthetic as has an interest in Confucianism. Song holds her BS, Physics from the Anqing University, China and studied fine art and photography at the International Center of Photography and Pratt, New York.