The Photographic Journal


Essay 231 • Dec 13th 2017

This unstaged series was shot in Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo on different days, but always right before the closing time, when wholesale dealers clean their stalls. It questions our perception of aesthetics and senses through the complex relation between parts and wholes.

When grouped, mixed, reordered, or decontextualized, fragmented elements that we might usually consider as meaningless, useless or even repulsive could be perceived as pleasant or worth looking at. Potentially as a new whole.



Ghaleb Cabbabé was born in Beirut in 1978 during the Civil War. When his parents moved to Paris in 1982, they were unable to secure him a place at school. Eager to “console” him, his aunt, a photographer, blessed him with his first prized camera. Her love of photography was contagious; he soon caught the bug.

A trained architect, Ghaleb has lived in inspirational environments such as Oman and Vietnam before carrying several missions for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Congo and Sri Lanka. He is now based in Bangkok.

In 2012, he studied photography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Ghaleb won the Byblos Bank Award for Photography in 2013. In 2016, he was shortlisted at Athens Photo Festival, and his work was among the top-rated entries in the Magnum Photography Awards and Lens Culture submissions. Ghaleb’s work has also been featured in The Photographic Journal and exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Beirut and Prague.

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