“Pictures from my Cabinet of Memories” is a series of 100 essays written by Japanese photographer Kazuo Kitai, serialised in the weekly magazine “Shukan Dokushojin” between 2014 and 2016.
In the 100 essays, each accompanied by a photograph from his body of work, Kitai looks back on his 50 years as a photographer. By explaining the thoughts that went into a particular image, discussing the nature of photography or sometimes giving detailed technical information (about a photograph from 1974, “I used a 25mm Canon with Tri-X film pushed to 1600 ASA and a shutter speed of 1/8”), Kitai allows the reader into his creation process.

The Japanese essays were originally published as a book by Nihon Camera in January 2017. This English version - the first translation of Kitai’s essays - is being published by Zen Foto Gallery.

Artist Profile


Kazuo Kitai, born in China in 1944, is best known for his protest photography of the 1960s and 1970s. He earned the prestigious Ihei Kimura Memorial Award for Photography for his work “Mura-e”, a year-long documentation of Japan’s rural life. In the 1980s, he concerned himself with the citizens of Osaka and Tokyo (”Shinsekai Monogatari”, “Funabashi Monogatari”). Recent years have seen him publish a regular column in Nippon Camera magazine (”Walking with Leica”) as well as a rise of public interest in his work both in Japan and overseas.

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