Location Tokyo, Japan
What motivated you to start publishing?
The definition of art book in our viewpoint would be an artwork created by a collective of specialists – artists, editors, book designers and so on. If you consider the art book an artwork created by a collective, then to us the point is to deliver the message of this collective to its audience. Case’s manifest is built on the idea “the book as a medium of expression,” and that’s because we think art books challenge and create new forms of expression for the medium “book”.
How do you define and develop your artistic program?
We believe in the book as a medium of expression.
Books continue to grow beyond their historic role as an information medium. Especially in the field of photobooks, the concerted efforts of experts with a shared set of values can result in books with merit beyond the mere reproduction of original artworks. When all parts of a photobook’s publishing process are aligned, there is potential to develop a new, sublime power of expression.
With its publications, Case Publishing pursues photobooks in all their potential forms: from conventional photobooks-as-catalogues, which reproduce works with minimal intervention; photobooks-as-books, which allow photographers to express their vision without compromise; to photobooks as a form of collective expression, in which artists and specialists from a diversity of fields—designers, printers, writers etc.—work together to create an encompassing, new form of the book which surpasses individual expression.
What is your role in the creation of a publication?
We believe that artists’ publishing can enable artists to express new dimensions of their creativity, thoughts and passion. The process of publishing involves many steps, from the design to the selection of paper, printing and binding, as well as distribution, all of which require a lot of communication and interaction. Each step of the process can be enjoyable as well as profound, and so publishing has the potential to be an opportunity for artists to experiment and to refine their art and expression.
What do you look for in a project?
Case Publishing made its mission to expand the book into a rich and multifaceted platform for ever more art forms. Together with international artists, we elevate the artbook into a new medium of expression by utilizing the unique strengths of books as objects and information carriers.
Do you have any advice to artists planning to make a publication?
There are no particular requirements. Rather than help artists publish their books, we want to create books together with capable artists. That’s why – in addition to books by internationally known artists – we have also published many artists’ first ever books.
We do not have any limitations regarding genre.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenge as a publisher?
We think a publishing company acts similar to a director of a movie production. It is vital to select a team of people who understand the artwork in question and who share the common goal to create something together. That is how you can create “books as a medium of expression.”
In the age of rising mass consumption and ever higher economic power, publishing companies need to create ever more books in a shorter amount of time. This leads to more automatization, for example in the printing and bookbinding stages, and as a result, the available sizes and designs are limited. It has also leads to a greater division of labour in each specialised field (editing, printing, bookbinding and so on). We think this has led to a limitation of what books are capable of in terms of expression. Books have come to be published at the same sizes, with the same designs.
Due to the rise of the internet, social media etc., the book has lost its historic importance as a medium of information. Many publishing companies suffered financial losses and stopped engaging in art books, which place high value on artistic and nuanced forms of expression.
In a way, we think it is the mission of smaller publishing houses like ours – called “little press” – to create opportunities that allow for new forms of expression. Case aims to achieve that goal, together with our peers.