Lomography Partners: NADiff Baiten of Tokyo, Japan

Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're in Japan then it's your lucky day! We're featuring our Tokyo-based stockist NADiff Baiten and speaking to manager Tsukasa Tashiro in today's instalment of Lomography Partners.

Photos by NADiff shot with the LomoApparat and Lomography Color Negative 800 film

Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community? Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

Greetings to the Lomography community! I'm Tsukasa Tashiro, the manager of NADiff Baiten, located within the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. NADiff Baiten is a museum shop that specializes in a wide array of photography-related products, including photobooks from both local and international artists.

My role involves curating and selecting photobooks in sync with the museum's exhibitions. I carefully source and acquire photobooks that complement the ambiance of our shop. Since we are part of the museum, we aim to present a collection that is artistically rich and imbued with a sense of individuality. Furthermore, we often have the privilege of showcasing photobooks crafted by individual artists, where I engage in discussions regarding their sale and presentation.

Do you have a favorite memory, or a moment that stands out, from running your business over the years?

Absolutely, there's one moment that holds a special place in my heart. It was when a customer came in searching for a specific photobook based on very limited information. I vividly remember how I put my knowledge to the test and meticulously recommended a photobook. And you know what? It turned out to be the exact treasure they were seeking! Witnessing my expertise align perfectly with the customer's desires was an incredibly gratifying experience. It's moments like these that truly make the journey of running the shop unforgettable.

Photos by NADiff shot with the LomoApparat and Lomography Color Negative 800 film

Who inspires you?

My wellspring of inspiration stems from those who artfully wield the medium of words—poets, authors, and their literary works. If I were to spotlight a specific luminary, it would undoubtedly be Takahiko Okada. He was also one of the pioneering minds behind the inception of the seminal photographic journal "Provoke." ("Provoke" was birthed in 1968 by the collaboration of luminaries like Takuma Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi, Koji Taki, and Takahiko Okada, sparking a revolution in the world of photographic journals.)

My role encompasses diverse expressions, whether creating POP displays within the store, composing articulate reviews in magazines, or contributing insightful passages to photography-related literature. In each venture, I'm given the opportunity to pour forth my thoughts in my own words.

I believe I'm influenced positively by poetry collections when working on written projects.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

It's when a customer says, "I'm looking for a photobook like this," and I find the photobook they're seeking from fragmentary information. Also, it's enjoyable to recommend a few options to customers who have a vague idea of what they're looking for in a photobook. There are also customers who come looking for photobooks for research purposes or reference material. The fact that this job is interesting is because it requires knowledge to respond appropriately.

And I'm really happy when photobooks from artists I like sell well!

Photos by NADiff shot with the LomoApparat and Lomography Color Negative 800 film

And what’s the hardest part about the job?

Photobooks often have a higher chance of going out of print compared to books that are commonly found in bookstores. It's distressing when a customer inquires about a photobook that's no longer available and we're unable to provide it.

At NADiff, we primarily stock new books. While we do have some used books, they can be priced higher due to their rarity. If possible, I recommend purchasing photobooks you desire as soon as they're published!

Do you have any favorite photobooks from your store that you would recommend?

My top pick is I Want to See You When You're Alone by the fantastic photographer Yu Shinoda. It's a beautiful book with many serene photos, each carefully thought out and composed.

Moving on to popular books, I'd like to introduce Small Myths by Mikioko Hara. This book captures everyday scenes using a "no viewfinder" technique, and even though they're familiar scenes, the photos reveal a refreshing and captivating world. It's a truly appealing book.

Lastly, I want to recommend Ravens by Masahisa Fukase as a must-read. This photobook is just incredibly cool and one of my favorites. While it emanates a sense of solitude and melancholy, reflecting Fukase's own emotions, it's also astonishing how each photo holds a strong and striking image.

Photos by NADiff shot with the LomoApparat and Lomography Color Negative 800 film

What do you love most about being in Tokyo? Do you have any favorite spots for photography in the city?

I also engage in photography and creative work, creating photo collections that combine snapshots with poems and tanka.

I enjoy strolling around the streets of Tokyo. While I don't have any specific favorite photography spots in Tokyo, I like capturing scenes that are often overlooked, nestled between the gaps of different neighborhoods. I'm often drawn to things like cracks, fissures, and frayed edges. When they're captured in a photograph, reality seems to transform, creating a sense of dissonance compared to what our eyes perceive. I appreciate this sensation, which is why I prefer taking photos of places like that.

And I also have an affinity for places with anonymity, like unknown residential areas or enigmatic abandoned houses. Even in the heart of the city where there's a sense of human presence, I'm intrigued by places that appear to have been left behind or forgotten.

Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at wholesaleinquiries@lomography.com and we will check them out!

written by alexgray on 2023-09-29 #partners #tokyo #gear #photobook #community #japan #lomography-partners

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