Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo2011-2020 ongoing
MEDIA: Collages, books, micro architecture, dioramas, paintings, drawings, flags, audio works
An ongoing studio project. A tribute to the former Tsukiji market, which was closed due to relocation. Over the past 10 years the British artist, Jake Tilson, has documented the market, made a series of books and started making artworks from his research.
The project highlights the importance of food culture in the urban landscape.

Japan has been deeply important to Tilson’s work. In 2009 he had a joint exhibition in London with Kyoichi Tsuzuki called “A Net of Eels”. It looked at the cultural difference between eels in Japan and the UK. It was commissioned by the Film and Video Umbrella as part of the Jerwood Found In Translation series. From the project The Tate Gallery collection acquired a photo-series by Tilson.
“In at the Deep End – Cooking Fish Venice to Tokyo” (2010, Quadrille) had a chapter dedicated to Japan. The visual textures of Tokyo streets were used on a pair of sneakers he designed for Paul Smith.

What we eat,
how we cook,
where we shop,
is changing…
losing cultural links to our past

This project celebrates the Tsukiji Fish Market


Research Books

Looking at Cities, Research Photography
by Jake Tilson.

Volume One, Japan.
Books 4-13 cover the Tsukiji Fish Market.
Ten books, 1520 photographs taken between 2008 - 2018
Book 4, General Views, 178 pp, 200 photos.
Book 5, Wholesale Stalls, 238 pp, 260 photos.
Book 6, Choba, Payment Booths, 154 pp, 170 photos.
Book 7, Typography, 106 pp, 110 photos.
Book 8, Light Fittings, 148 pp, 160 photos
Book 9, Carts & Barrows, 66 pp, 60 photos.
Book 10, Back Spaces & Ladders, 124 pp, 100 photos.
Book 11, Scales, Hanging Objects, Boards, Benches & Floors, 174 pp, 200 photos.
Book 12, Auctions & Preparation, 122 pp, 130 photos.
Book 13, Seafood, 124 pp, 130 photos.

Fish Stalls - selected

Tokyo Fish Market: John Dory Stall, Tsukiji, 2012- 2019
137 x 62 x 20 cms
Acrylic paint, varnish, wax, Japanese ironmongery, metal, coffee cans, plastic, bamboo, found objects, charms, corrugated roofing, paper, plywood, wood.

Tokyo Fish Market: Squid Stall, Tsukiji,
2012- 2019
137 x 62 x 20 cms
Tokyo Fish Market: Octopus Stall, Tsukiji,
2012- in progress
137 x 62 x 20 cms

Micro Architecture: wholesale stalls - selected

Wholesale Squid Stall Fascia, Tsukiji Wholesale Tiger Prawn Stall Fascia, Tsukiji
Wholesale Oysters Stall Fascia, Tsukiji
Wholesale Mackerel Stall Fascia, Tsukiji
2012-19 ,39 x 30 x 12.5 cm
Acrylic paint, rubber stamps on plywood and wood

Micro Architecture: payment booths - selected

Fugu Cashier’s Booth, Tsukiji 2012-19
Tiger Prawn Cashier’s Booth, Tsukiji 2012-19
Halibut Cashier’s Booth, Tsukiji 2012-19 Cuttlefish Cashier’s Booth, Tsukiji 2012-19
26 x 24 x 13.5 cm
Acrylic paint on plywood and wood

Paintings / drawings / flags - selected

Tokyo Fish Market: After Hours 2, Tsukiji 2019
91 x 40 x 5 cm
Acrylic paint on gesso, varnish, wax, bamboo, plastic, plywood, wood
After Hours, Tsukiji 2012-19
81 x 39 x 4 cm
Pen on paper, rubber stamps, inkjet on paper, wheat-starch glue, Smootherite and enamel back-painted on glass, on plywood and wood
Crab Flag 2018
84 x 61 cm
Digital print on organic half-Panama cotton

Artists book

Finding Tsukiji, 2019
20.5 x 14.3 cm, soft-back book
188pp, digital print, wholesale trader-stickers
from Japan, seafood stickers, tip-ins, fold-out map, rubber stamps

Drawings / watercolours / typographic studies

London exhibition - March/April 2019

Rather than a spoken audio guide Tilson provided us with a recording he made of the sounds of the market - including the chanting of the pre-dawn tuna auctions.

To hear these sounds either scan the QR code above - or use THIS LINK

This exhibition introduced an exciting glimpse of new works by Jake Tilson from an ongoing project about Tsukiji – Tokyo’s famous fish market. Part of the exhibition at White Conduit Projects was a large display of eleven photo books – a visual encyclopedia of the market.
15 March - 7 April 2019

1 White Conduit Street, London N1 9EL

+44 (0)775 448 6068

Prawn Stall, Tsukiji 2012-19
138 x 61 x 30 cm
Acrylic paint, varnish, wax, Japanese ironmongery,
metal, plastic, bamboo, tatami, found objects,
artex, paper, plyood, wood