MARKET FORCES was purchased by the Tate Gallery as part of its British Collection in 2009.

In Japan, nowhere is more than 93 miles from the coast; in Britain it's 70 miles or less. But these two island cultures have completely different attitudes to thesubject of seafood, and to the list of maritime creatures that people will and won't eat.

The eel, especially, has a contrasting place in the culinary life of each nation: in Britain, as a traditional poor man's dish; in Japan, as a gourmet delicacy, and, increasingly, as a widely-enjoyed luxury. Near to Jake Tilson's studio in Peckham is one of the last of a diminishing number of eel and pie shops in London - Manzes.

Over a three year period Tilson took photographs in London, Tokyo and Kyoto of the facades of eel and pie shops, unagi restaurants and the surrounding urban retail landscape. In London Tilson found the few remaining eel and pie shops in an outer rim linking the East End, the South East and West London. In Tokyo he focussed on neighborhoods that survived both the fire bombing of the Second World War and the Kanto earthquake in 1923. Areas such as Yanaka and Kitu Senju which still display a wide range of vernacular architectural styles, patched and added to over the centuries.

From these photographs and observations he created Market Forces - a single screen work tilted to 90 degrees to present shifting, split views of London and Japan.


Duration: 7 mins 50 secs.
For a single screen monitor, hung at 90°.
78 images.
Produced as part of the exhibition A Net of Eels - Jake Tilson with Kyoichi Tsuzuki, The Wapping Project, London and Babylon Gallery, Ely.
Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, London, 2009. A Net of Eels was supported by Arts Council England, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and The Japan Foundation. The project is part of the Jerwood Found in Translation series at The Wapping Project.