Manhoru by Thomas Couderc brings together an extraordinary and joyous collection of Japanese manhole covers.
Captured by the author during a trip to Japan, or gleaned later on the internet, this unpublished body of work invites you to discover a subtle artform and a most excellent design opportunity that is completely overlooked elsewhere. British and European manhole covers are dismally functional by comparison.
In Japan, 'Manhorukaba' or manhole covers tell us visual stories about the specific locality. The result of a singular political decision, these plaques offer a superlative territorial story: glorious past or successful present, local mascots and legends, remarkable flora, fauna or monuments.
Brought together for the first time in a single collection, these banal everyday objects reveal the exceptional graphic universe of the Japanese archipelago.
Pocket book printed in offset with cover in holographic hot foil stamping and matt black.
Format: 10.5 x 15 cm, 128 pages. Second Edition, 2021.
Text by Romain Couderc, English translation by Frédérique Spill.