Monday, 25 January 2016

Robert van Koesveld | Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto

(If Video cannot play, please click on this link)

I rarely if ever, feature crowdfunding campaigns for photography projects, because I don't want to field requests to publicize them before their funding is completed. It's a principle I adhered to since I started the blog many years ago, and since then I've refused to have The Travel Photographer blog feature work in progress that require funding. There are other blogs and websites that can do that better than I can.

With Robert van Koesveld's Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto book, I waited until it overshot its stated goal of raising $3460 to have it published, and can now feature it as an exemplar of a well done job of photography, and marketing. I'm certain the 160 pages hardback book itself will be a worthwhile addition to anyone's library. This book project started about three years ago and has evolved through several iterations.

Geiko is a Kyoto term, and are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers. Maiko are young geiko, or apprentices, ranging in age from 15 to 20 or 21 years old.

According to the book's description, it starts with an essay giving context to the images and shares some of Mr van Koesveld's education in his study of the geiko and maiko, and his interviews of some key people. This is followed by photographs of eleven different maiko and geiko, with an intervening picture essay about an evening with maiko. 

With my photo book still being a work-in-progress, I easily emphasize and identify with Mr van Koesveld's intensive work on his. It's an extremely challenging task, but provided the passion is there, it's also an indescribable pleasure, from inception to completion and beyond.