“November 2013, Golden Gai, Tokyo–One of other very first people Matt Goulding and I connected with when we started working on the book Rice Noodle Fish (published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain, 2015) was Robbie Swinnerton–the legendary food critic for The Japan Times known as Tokyo Food File. He took us on an epic crawl through the city that culminated in the warren of tiny bars in Shinjuku known as Golden Gai. This was a bit before that area became overrun tourists and the vibe was unlike anything I had seen. Tiny five-seat bars, crammed together, each with a different cast of characters.”
- Michael Magers
About the artist
Born in Dallas in 1976, Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist whose work takes him all over the world. From deep dives into international food cultures to intimate views into the ateliers of traditional artisans, Magers imbues each photograph with a story. In 2013, he stepped back from a corporate career to hone a more creative life and pursue his passion for photography. Based between New York City and Austin, Texas, Michael Magers is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning travel books Rice Noodle Fish (2015) and Grape Olive Pig (2016) published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His work has been exhibited internationally–from Cuba to Japan, Paris to New York–and appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, CNN, and The Washington Post, to name just a few. In 2019, he released his first monograph, Independent Mysteries, a selection images from his years on the road juxtaposed with original writing from his friends and collaborators.