Aya offers insight into the life of a young Japanese woman living in Tokyo. British photographer Francesca Allen shares an intimate month with musician Aya Yanase, also known as Aya Gloomy. Unable to speak the same language, the series documents a growing friendship using photography as the sole medium of communication.
This series of photographs enables a window into the vulnerabilities of both women who almost revel in the novelty of the experience. Aya is one year younger than Francesca, and they meet at similar points in their lives, perhaps feeling similar things. As their relationship develops, the book narrows in on a delicate and exciting period of new womanhood. The work builds a sense of belonging and friendship as Francesca turns her gaze adoringly on Aya, harnessing her energy to reveal strength and fragility. Aya is the represented subject, but through her photographs and the relationship that emerges between the two women, the division between representer and subject is diffused and we also understand a little of Francesca.
52 pages, 25.5 x 20 cm, hardcover, Libraryman (Paris).