Book Review: TO:KY:OO by Liam Wong.

TO:KY:00 by Liam Wong. Thames & Hudson, 2021. 9780500545461. 264pp.

Photography books need to be beautiful and compelling, and this one is on a new level. The opening pages, including the forward and introduction and table of contents, are all printed on beautiful gradients that flow across both pages. The behind-the-scenes pages at the back that show a few of Wong’s contact sheets and give real insight into his process (particularly of the process behind making his famous Neo Tokyo photograph) are on a non-glossy paper, which sets them apart from the glossiness of the rest of the book and makes them feel like they’re full of craft. Everyone is going to want to flip through this book.

The photos themselves are wonderful. The recolored night scenes are full of purples, with glowing blues and whites and reds. In so many images signs, lit and not, neon and not, vie for attention even as pedestrians ignore them. There’s something unexpected in each image, which made paging through this book again and again a real pleasure. Many rainy Tokyo streets and alleys recall the movie Blade Runner, though there’s so much more here that doesn’t. It all makes me want to get on a plane and head for Japan as soon as that’s possible again.


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