In the 1970s and early 1980s, trips to Asia always began in California. Sailing by freighter from San Francisco, or on multi-stopover air tickets to Tokyo or Bangkok, departing from SFO or LAX. I stayed in cheap hotels, or half-slept in all-night cinemas, walked the streets photographing by day and by night. Lingering for days or weeks, traveling by Greyhound to other cities, and then at some point eventually boarding a plane or ship to cross the Pacific.
The US west coast has always been a magnet for young searchers, and it was for me as well. Though in my case it was also a vast departure lounge, a long drawn out stopover, perhaps more than a final destination.
In a way these pictures mark the beginning of a trip I never returned from. A time of heightened anticipation: the new everyday around me, and the one to come when finally arriving in one of Asia's great cities (and, as it turned out, not leaving for decades). Thanks to Misha Kominek at Kominek Books these photographs from the US in the 1970s and early 80s are now finding an audience I couldn't dare dream of at the time.
Prices in US dollars
Release Date: Feb 1, 2024
Publisher: Kominek, Berlin
11.8 x 8.9 inches (300x227 mm)
Text by Greg Girard
Designed by Gonzalo Sanchez and Misha Kominek