Barnacle Island Photo Book by Patrick Tsai
Patrick Tsai was a volunteer helper at Giant Robot long ago. I've kept in sporadic touch with him over the last many years and watched him go from a filmmaker who had a short film project that made it to Sundance to blogging about his life and love in China and then his life in Japan. I've missed out on his previous books which has sold out, but this time I got one. Photography can be confusing. Who gives who the winning ticket? Just because we shoot photos with our phones or cameras, does that make us any better than the one who does it as a "pro"? The answer is no. You can pot shot your way to Instagram fame, but you can't shoot so often and consistently that it tells an overarching story. On top of that, the editing out portion is equally important. Patrick Tsai captures his life on an island in Japan.
I can piece together what's transpired the best I can, but it seems like he escaped Tokyo soon after the radiation scare caused by the Giant Tsunami after the Quake and settled on an island. Here his life changes and his work captures a new backdrop and a dog. I keep turning the pages and the images have a look and feel that grasps without pretension. Maybe that's intentional, but it keeps me coming back. Some of the book includes writing, but it's overwhelmed by the power of his images.
Patrick was right out of high school when I met him and was adventurous, easy going, and all around happy. The book shows me that he's still the same.
You can pick up a copy of his self published and extremely charming book here.
You can read some of his blogs by clicking here.