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During his six months stay in China, Tanis wandered the streets of Chinas ever-expanding cities; its vast construction sites, dirty sweatshops, shopping malls, markets and provisional migrant dwellings in the cellars of enormous apartment blocks. Tanis has a sixth sense for the wry side of life, which is communicated in the books design. Besides the range of different covers, there also seems to be a trick to seeing the images that are locked between the pages. It is precisely this delayed gratification that gives the book its extra value; for knowledge of the world implies an attack on its compactness and seeming logic.

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Fireflies tells stories of Japan; of modernity and chaos against tradition. A story in black and white, and of contrasts.

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In meticulous and poetic words Tanis captures thoughts and actions and creates an image of an in itself communicating inner world. The isolation and the absence caused by this obsessive-compulsive disorder are gradually becoming more oppressive. The text, which is partly fiction and partly observation, takes the reader back and forth between different realities. It represents the complex feelings of how someone can experience him or herself as an outsider.


Urban Jungle is the result of a thorough empirical investigation into how the urban environment is being experienced. With this book Tanis invites us to take a voyeuristic look at our fellow earthlings as though they are animals in a zoo.

Aram Tanis focuses on aspects of daily urban life that often escape the eye. China as mapped by Tanis stands in strong opposition to the image of China advocated by commercial advertising. If the enormous billboards speak of happy shiny family life, these photographs are about solitude and loss.