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Treedom: The Road to Freedom is a collection of photographs and reflections by “Japan’s Foremost Master Treehouse Builder” Takashi Kobayashi. “Treedom” is more than just about Kobayashi, as it encompasses a whole community of like-minded and activist individual. Even the concept of tree house in Treedom is one developed a bit further than those platform structures we knew as children, but clearly related to those roots: “the term tree house refers simply to any structure built on the boughs and limbs of living trees. We who build these structures are not architects; our aim rather, through art and free expression, is to break down the feeling of separation that exists between humans and nature. For those who share our values and free spirit we have a name: ‘Tree house people.'” [from TreeHouse People]

The hardcover text is beautifully rendered in full-bleed images and text overlay throughout. It also includes a DVD documentary, some of which mirrors the content of the book, but also helps to give a greater sense of the scope and passion of Kobayashi’s work. He is unique in his commitment to trees and building artfully amazing structures sometimes hundred of feet above ground. And, as “fun” as it may sound, his is a story of struggle – against the norm, and to find a place for himself when he is not most at home in his tress, but among other people. Certainly a book, documentary, and life story to be admired by artists who have ever dreamed of living their work, and for the rest of us who simply appreciate the dream.

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