Danish photographer Jacob Aue Sobol first moved to Tokyo in spring 2006. “It was a society I had never experienced before, one of which I had little knowledge, and to which I had no real sense of attachment,” Sobel says. He went to Tokyo because his girlfriend had got a job there, but at first found it isolating and lonely. “Initially, I felt invisible. Each day I would walk the streets without anyone making eye-contact with me. Everyone seemed to be heading somewhere – it was as if they had no need of communication.” In his book, I, Tokyo, he explores isolation and loneliness in the tight and confined reality of Japan’s capital.

The more you give yourself, the more you will gain in your images of other people

Jacob Aue Sobol
© Jacob Aue Sobol | Magnum Photos

Jacob Aue Sobol was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1976. He lived in Canada from 1994-95 and Greenland from 2000-2002. After studying at the European Film College, Aue Sobol was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed.

Aue Sobol is known for his unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which focuses on the universality of human emotion and the search for love within oftentimes harsh surroundings. He has made significant work in Tokyo, China, Greenland, Guatemala and along the Trans-Siberian railway. Aue Sobol became a member of Magnum Photos in 2012.

© Jacob Aue Sobol | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox