Photo London: Hayahisa Tomiyasu’s TTP wins the MACK First Book Award

It’s a prestigious prize, which earns the winner an exhibition at Photo London plus a photobook published by the well-regraded specialist MACK Books. This year it’s gone to Hayahisa Tomiyasu for his book dummy TTP.

Shot from the window of his eighth-floor student flat in Leipzig, Germany, TTP shows a park with a ping pong table, shot at various times of day and in various seasons, and showing different protagonists each time. The table is used as a tischtennisplatte (table tennis table, as a sun lounger, as a climbing frame, as a skate obstacle, and as much more, and, states MACK Books “thanks to Tomiyasu’s sustained curiosity, we observe the habits, humour, and idiosyncrasies of human behaviour”.

Born in 1982 Kanagawa, Japan, Hayahisa Tomiyasu studied photography at Tokyo Polytechnic University then moved to Leipzig to study under Peter Piller. He’s now based between Leipzig and Zurich, where he teaches. His book has now been published by MACK, with support from the Wilson Centre for Photography, the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, and optimal media.

TTP by Hayahisa Tomiyasu

Tomiyasu was picked out from a shortlist of ten book dummies, which also included: The Hotel by Dakpa Tenzing; At Night by Lionel Kiernan; American Origami by Andres Gonzalez; Familiarity by Anita Benjamin; Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor; Aporia by Andrew Waits; Flesh Before Body by Diane Severin Nguyen; Vedute Los Angeles by Thomas Locke Hobbs; and The Wall by Véronique Besnard.

The jury for the MACK First Book Award changes every year, and this time comprised of: Hannah Starkey, the photographer and artist; Amira Gad, exhibitions curator at the Serpentine Galleries, London, and commissioning editor for the Ibraaz, an online platform dedicated to visual culture in the Middle East and North Africa; Martin Barnes, senior curator of photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) London; Polly Fleury, director of special projects at the Wilson Centre for Photography; and Michael Mack, the publisher and founder of MACK Books.

Set up in 2012, the MACK First Book Award is open to all photographers who have not previously had a book published. Previous winners include Emmanuelle Andrianjafy for Nothing’s in Vain in 2017, Sofia Borges for The Swamp in 2016, and Ciarán Óg Arnold for I went to the worst of bars… in 2015. TTP by Hayahisa Tomiyasu is published by MACK Books, priced £27. MACK Books are at Photo London 18-20 May 

The Hotel by Tenzing Dapka
Image from The Hotel © Dakpa Tenzing
At Night by Lionel Kiernan
Image from At Night © Lionel Kiernan
American Origami by Andres Gonazales
Image from American Origami © Andres Gonzales
Familiarity by Anita Benjamin
Image from Familiarity © Anita Benjamin
Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor
Image from Constructed Landscapes © Dafna Talmor
Aporia by Andrew Waits
Image from Aporia © Andrew Waits
Flesh Before Body by Diane Severin Nguyen
Image from Flesh Before Body © Diane Severin Nguyen
Vedute LA by Thomas Locke Hobbs
Image from Vedute Los Angeles © Thomas Locke Hobbs
The Wall by Véronique Besnard
Image from The Wall © Véronique Besnard
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is the editor of BJP, returning for a second stint on staff in 2023 - after 15 years on the team until 2019. As a freelancer, she has written for The Guardian, FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, Aperture, FOAM, Aesthetica and Apollo. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy