Hajime Sawatari (Japanese
Lot 68
Hajime Sawatari (Japanese, born 1940), Three photobooks, including 'Nadia' (1973, 1st edition), 'Alice' (1973, 1st edition, signed) and 'Alice From the Sea' (1979, 1st edition, signed).
£800 - 1,200
US$ 1,300 - 2,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
Hajime Sawatari (Japanese, born 1940)
A collection of three photobooks:
Nadia, 1973. 1st edition, published by Camera Mainichi, Japan. 90 black and white illustrations followed by a letter from Nadia in Japanese. Unpaginated, in illustrated paper wrappers.
Alice, 1973. 1st edition, published by Roppongi Studio, Japan. Signed and dated in ink on title page. 57 colour illustrations followed by four essays in Japanese: 'Alice Remembered Alice Remembers', 'Letters to Child-Friends', 'Photography Extraordinary' and 'A Photographer's Log in England'. Unpaginated and bound in hard green boards with gold embossing on front cover and spine, with additional illustrated card slipcase.
Alice From the Sea, 1979. 1st edition, published by Roppongi Studio, Japan. Signed in Japanese characters in ink on title page. 67 colour illustrations followed by three essays in Japanese: 'Homages to the Girls in Seascape', 'Girls from the Sea' and 'A Photographer's Log in Scotland, Ireland'. Unpaginated and bound in hard blue boards with embossed title in white on front cover and spine, with additional illustrated card slipcase.
Alice and Alice From the Sea each 25.3 x 27cm (9 15/16 x 10 5/8in), Nadia 28.3 x 30.2cm (11 1/8 x 11 7/8in).


  • Literature:
    Kaneko, R. & Vartanian, I., Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s (New York: Aperture, 2009), p.174

    Hajime Sawatari is a celebrated fashion and advertising photographer. His photobooks are part of the important cultural renaissance that took place in Japan in the 1960s and '70s and saw the promotion of provocative, avant-garde book publishing.

    In 1973, Sawatari won the Japan Photograph Association's 'Nendo Sho' award for Nadia, the third in the 'Private' trilogy of books published by renowned Japanese publishers Camera Mainichi. As the author of the third book, Sawatari joined celebrated fashion photographers Yoshihiro Tatsuki and Shunji Ōkura to produce a series that was furiously creative and that moved away from the staid conventions of so-called 'talent' books being published in Japan at this time. The Private series differed from the common talent book in that the photographers' depictions of the nude female were not primarily for titillation but rather revealed an intimate, personal, highly emotional relationship between the photographer and his female subject. Sawatari makes clear this bond in his inclusion of a handwritten letter from the Italian model Nadia, which appears at the back of his book. Photographed outdoors, Sawatari's nude is tangible and human, rather than aloof and unattainable.

    In 1979, Sawatari won the Nendo Sho award again for Alice From the Sea, the second of his infamous Alice books. These psychedelic, aesthetic interpretations of Lewis Carroll's stories of Alice Liddell once again make clear the intensely intimate relationship between Sawatari, his model and his art.
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