Hot Days in Okinawa by Mao Ishikawa
Published by Foil (2013)
Since embarking on her professional career as a photographer in 1975, Mao Ishikawa’s birthplace of Okinawa has also been a reliable and constant theme in her work, which avoids simple classification as documentary, or even autobiography. Hot Days in Okinawa revisits her debut series, when the 22-year-old Ishikawa went to work in a bar exclusive to foreigners – primarily black members of the U.S. military. For two years she lived and captured familiar scenes of everyday life around her, portraying soldiers and women living furiously and vividly in Okinawa towards the end of the Vietnam War. A short text by Ishikawa accompanies the numerous black-and-white images.