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Whispering Hope is a great book and was a big surprise for me when I saw it first. I tell you why. I saw a first dummy a couple of years ago, when Chikara was in Berlin. The components were all there already, the photographs taken from a bus travelling criss-cross the USA, some pictures of fellow travellers taken during stopovers at bus stations, short text records written by the photographer. As far as I remenber the images were presented in a small format book organized as just an endless stream of impressions, like they float by gazing through a window of a driving bus. What sounds like a good idea just didn't work. The sequence passed by but for the viewer didn't take on meaning beyond the impression of movement.

But the book as it is now works brilliantly. Large format, all images taken from the window full bleed on spreads, like the full screen view you actually have seated on a bus, small images taken during stopovers and short text records thrown in here and there. Like this each of the wonderful landscape and inner city photographs takes our full attention, and the interspersed portraits as well as the photographer's thoughts underline the feeling of long distance bus rides in segments.

The photographer is right when he says, that Whispering Hope has become an investigation of both the physical and mental state of America.
Selfpublished 2017 /// 21 x 33 cm /// 152 Pages /// 69 color photographs /// Thread sewn, open spine binding with glued on boards /// Texts by Chikara Umihara /// English, Japanese /// Designed by -SYB- /// Edition of 300 copies

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