Go To Become


In 2011 Jörgen Axelvall moved to Tokyo after living in NYC for 15 years. The work in Go To Become is Axelvall’s expression of his feelings as a newcomer to Japan. It is in every aspect biographical.


The oxymoronic combination of feeling excluded and lonely on the crowded streets of Tokyo led Axelvall to seek out desolate and quiet environments.


These places soon became his personal sanctuaries where he would find refuge and peace of mind from the hustle of the city, often in the middle of night.


Several of these photographs earned Axelvall the New Exposure Award from US Vogue and Bottega Veneta in 2013. When asked by the jury for a brief description Axelvall said the following: I live in a big city the biggest in the world by some measure I’m a foreigner here at times I feel trapped, alienated and lonely amongst the millions of people calling this home

These images were all photographed in central Tokyo not far from my home in Shibuya at the sanctuaries where I find peace


A lover of poetry and literature, Axelvall later teamed up with Mutsuo Takahashi, one of the most prominent and prolific poets in contemporary Japan. With more than 130 books published, including dozens of poetry collections, Takahashi’s poetry successfully spans all the major Japanese poetic forms. After listening to Axelvall’s story and looking at the photographs, Takahashi wrote the poem


“Go To Become”

[ in Japanese なりに行く]


specially for this project. Jeffrey Angles, a poet and winner of the 2017 Yomiuri Prize for Literature, did the English translation. Angles is a professor in Japanese Literature and Translation at Western Michigan University.

The book, with the same title, is published by roshin books, designed by Katsuya Kato and edited by Jun Hanzawa.

「Go to become」



写真家ヨーガン・アクセルバルの写真集「Go to become」が、

2017年3月15日(水)に r o s h i n b o o k s より発刊します。






そして今作品に詩人 高橋睦郎は「なりに行く Go To Become」と題した詩を詠みました。写真と詩が織り成す一瞬のシークエンスを上質な装丁と印刷で編みました。本作品に収録されている作品の一部で、2013年に Bottega Veneta と VOGUE が主催する The New Exposure Photography Competition の International 部門を受賞しています。



高橋 睦郎 (たかはし むつお)

1937年、北九州八幡市生まれ。福岡教育大学教育学部国語国文科卒。1962 年に上京し、現代詩、俳句、短歌、新作能、オペラなど多彩な分野で創作活動を続ける。

Copyright © 2014 Jorgen Axelvall All Rights Reserved.