I’ll never forget the first time I came across City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City by Greg Girard. Even if the entire lawless enclave was long demolished by the time I made it to Hong Kong, the book was one of the reasons that I made the venture to the city. Girard’s ability to put viewers right in the middle of his clandestine locations transports you, not only back in time, but allows you to feel the rawness of each situation.
In his newest book, JAL 76 88, the Vancouver, British Columbia native highlights photographs he took from the years 1976 to 1988 in Tokyo, Japan. What was supposed to be a quick few days quickly led to weeks as the futuristic city enthralled his senses and fed his appetite for discovery and documentation. Spanning over a decade, the works in JAL 76 88 see the urban jungle of Tokyo through the lens of Girard as social and physical transformations were taking place from the pre-bubble era, the full-on explosion in wealth afforded by the bubble economy, and the cusp of what we now know as the Lost Decade.