Selected from GETXOPHOTO 


The TTP project—an abbreviation for tischtennisplatte, table tennis in Germanwon the MACK award for best photobook in 2018, using serial narrative, based on repetition and fixed shots, to explore the role of play areas in urban design. For five years, Hayahisa Tomiyasu systematically recorded life around a ping-pong table that he saw from the window of his student residence in Leipzig: it became a picnic table, a drying rack, an exercise bar, a shelter from the rain and even a bed. The structure had many different uses except for playing ping-pong. The Japanese photographer thus looks at life in his neighborhood, where members transform this simple piece of sports equipment into a meeting point.

As so often in contemporary urbanism, play areas were initially designed for children, but it soon became clear that they improved the quality of life for everyone. Swings and slides, basketball courts and skate parks, as well as systems with rings, pedals and all types of machines to exercise your muscles; in recent decades, the playground has continued to expand its uses and reinvent itself for life together.

Hayahisa Tomiyasu was born in 1982 in Kanagawa, Japan. After studying Photography at Tokyo Polytechnic University, he moved to Leipzig, Germany, to study with the German artist Peter Piller. He currently lives between Leipzig and Zurich, where he teaches. In 2018 he was the winner of the Mack First Book Award. His work has been exhibited at Images Vevey (Switzerland), Photo London (UK), POST Ebisu (Japan), Scope Hannover (Germany), The Japan Foundation, Limagerie (France), Daegu Photo Biennale (Korea), Fototage Oldenburg (Germany), Images Gibellina (Italy) or the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), among others. He has also been published in media such as the Financial Times and The Guardian. His work is part of the collections of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and the Musée de L’Elysse de Lausanne.

Getxophoto is an image festival created and managed by Begihandi, that has been taking place in Getxo—Basque Country, Euskadi—since 2007. This festival is part of a cultural ecosystem with the aim of being more participatory, hybrid, committed and sustainable. This thematic Festival is conceived as a platform that addresses contemporary challenges through different proposals, from visual storytellers around the world, in an attempt to create spaces for reflection and establish a collective conversation. Getxophoto is characterized by the radical defense of public space (both physical and online). For this reason, most of its programme is composed of outdoor installations, highlighting, on the one hand, the link between the image and the environment and, on the other, generating a more horizontal and participatory relationship with the public.

This year, the festival will take the theme of Play seriously as the multiplicity of its forms, approaches and potentialities will be explored. From the field of image and photography—and beyond—we’ll all be immersed in the idea of Play that is also presented as an initiation or activation.

María Ptqk is the curator of GETXOPHOTO 2024.

Copyright © Michalina Kacperak and Getxophoto, all rights reserved

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