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Deluxe book, 650+ pages, Japanese & English. A masterpiece of subculture photography featuring Tokyo's thriving underground rock scene from the 70s and 80s including artist such as FRICTION, Keiji Haino, Hanatarash, Les Rallizes Dénudés, Hijokaidan, Jagatara, Mr KITE, S-KEN, The Stalin, Naked Larries, Boys Boys, G.I.S.M., Gauze, Mirrors, EP-4, Gastunk, AUTO-MOD, Totsuzen Danboru, Gunjogacrayon, The Speed, The Fools, Jun Togawa, ZELDA, Comes and Tokyo Rockers among many others...


A long-awaited complete reprint of the legendary photobook originally published in 1986, expanded with many new unpublished works. The photographs of Gin Satoh compiled in Underground GIG Tokyo 1978-1987 reveals the faces of the musicians, artists, and other eccentrics who gathered in the darkness during a legendary moment in subculture. Modifying commercial technology of the late 1970s into sonic weapons and projecting attitude through screeching amplified sound as a new chaotic breed of music. As well as a refuge from heteronormative pop culture, it was a necessarily visceral response to the technological change happening at the time.  Born in Sendai and currently based in Tokyo, Gin Satoh is at the core of a vortex of eccentric personalities associated with Japanese experimental culture. As well as providing ‘action portraits’ of Iggy Pop, he is credited for the artwork of Keiji Haino’s cryptic debut in Watashi Dake.


In black and white, full of big hair, dark makeup, and sweat, the photographs produce rare visual documentation of a rough world contrasting with any sleek fantasy one may have of 1980s Japan. As well as snapping cult-favourite bands like Les Rallizes Denudes and Friction, Gin Satoh photographed live music at its most extreme. Here, musicians seriously tested their limits in defying norms—Gin Satoh’s photographs include the famous episode where a member of Hanatarash (known today as prominent Boredoms member Yamataka EYE) destroyed an entire venue by driving a bulldozer right through it.

Photo Book: Underground GIG Tokyo 1978 – 1987 by Gin SATOH

  • About the Artist

    Gin Satoh

    Born 1948 in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. In twenties, he stayed in the main island and the other islands of Okinawa prefecture, and took photographs of daily life right after Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese administration (1972). In thirties,
he took photographs of rock musicians, mainly punk rock musicians and published those photographs on magazines and newspapers. After that, he also started taking photographs of Butoh, contemporary arts and cityscape, intentionally excluding people from the scenes. He has travelled to many countries in Asia and Europe, and took photographs of the cities around
the world. Since 2011, he has been taking photographs of disaster and the reconstruction by The Great East Japan Earthquake. In 2016, his work was selected as part of the FENTY×PUMA BY RIHANNA COLLECTION worldwide campaign. He had held many exhibitions of the photographs.

    Exhibitions: Tokyo Rockers (Shinjuku Olympus Gallery / 1985), Zoning (Shinjuku Olympus Gallery / 1989), Collaboration (Ginza Dentsu AD Gallery / 1990), Butohmyaku 3 persons (Jimbocho Olympus Gallery / 1999), Silence Geoglyph that Tsunami Drew (Gwangju Biennale / 2011),“Making as Living”The Exhibition of Great East Japan Earthquake Regeneration Support Action Project (Arts Chiyoda 3331 / 2012), TOKYO Underground (Avant Art Festival Wroclaw / 2016), Tokyo Underground Revisited (Doomed Gallery London / 2016), Action Portrait: IGGY POP (BOOKMARC / 2017), GIG (Uptown Koenji Gallery / 2017), Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s (BLUM & POE Los Angeles / 2019) etc.

    Photo books: GIG (1986), NEW YORK (1991), Silence Geoglyph that Tsunami Drew (2011), IGGY POP by Gin SATOH (2017), GIG – Koenji Edition (2017).

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