Tag Archives: hiromi tsuchida

New Arrivals in the Bookstore

Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition, by Daido Moriyama Page Spread
Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition, by Daido Moriyama Page Spread

Over the last few days we’ve been adding quite a few new titles to the bookstore, and I wanted to highlight a few of them for you:

Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition (Signed)
Daido Moriyama

Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition, by Daido MoriyamaThis is a complete facsimile reprint of Daido Moriyama’s 1974 self-published photocopied book of the same name which originated out of his famed “printing show” exhibitions (which in the last couple of years he has reprised in New York, London, and elsewhere). At the time they were issued, only around 100 versions — no two exactly alike — were issued. These facsimile reprints are available in two cover versions — “Stars and Stripes” (pictured), and “Airplane” — and while certainly not cheap, they are an order of magnitude cheaper than what some booksellers would like you to pay for one of the 1974 originals. Available here.

Ever After
Asako Narahashi

Ever After, by Asako NarahashiAsako Narahashi has released several small print books since her breakthrough 2007 half awake and half asleep in the water (Nazraeli Press), but this can be considered her first major book since that release, and it sees her continuing to explore the relationship between water and land, or put another way, between a floating indeterminateness and the grounded elements which dominate the landscape. The images in Ever After were shot in Japan, Dubai, Amsterdam, the suburbs of Paris, Santa Monica, Taipei, and elsewhere, between 2002 and 2011. Narahashi explains at the beginning of the interview that accompanies the book (included separately as a booklet), “I think I’ve always had an interest in things which lack a stable state, at least unconsciously perhaps. Although I’m not particularly aware of other people’s shore photography, most seem to be images taken of water as something beautiful. […] In my case, I took these because I wanted to capture something that gives a sense of scale, or artificiality, somewhere in the image, not because I wanted to get closer to nature.” This is a nice large-size book complete with slipcase and the aforementioned interview booklet (bilingual). Available here.

Standard Temperature
Masayo Ito

Standard Temperature, by Masayo ItoMasayo Ito’s Standard Temperature, a collection of family portraits taken between 1979-1981, began its life as a student project for Ito when she was a BFA student at Musashino Art University’s Department of Visual Communication Design in Tokyo. In fact, it was her graduation thesis and garnered her the Department’s “Laboratory Prize”. Her biography characterizes Standard Temperature as “photos from random visits with Tokyo families”, which would imply she just pounded on apartment flats randomly until she found subjects willing to sit for portraits. The results, however, belie such arbitrariness, and without any background knowledge — Ito’s own afterword is itself ambiguous about who these people are — one feels sure that even if not Ito’s own friends and family, Ito must have known these people fairly well to capture them as intimately as she has done. Available here.

Berlin
Hiromi Tsuchida

Berlin, by Hiromi TsuchidaHiromi Tsuchida is best known for his exploration of the effects of Japan’s postwar economic boom in Zokushin and Counting Grains of Sand. However, he has also devoted a considerable body of work exploring the WWII-scarred cities of Hiroshima and Berlin, producing at least three books on the former, and two on the latter. These works often feature photos taken over different periods which are then juxtaposed, or as in the case of his first Berlin book The Berlin Wall, by digitally superimposing the words “East” and “West” to note which part of the wall was which. The 2011 book entitled simply Berlin brings together photographs of Berlin shot at three different points of his career, and critically, three different and distinct periods in Berlin’s post-WWII history — 1983, 1999-2000, and 2009. As Rei Masuda writes in one of the book’s two accompanying essays, “The three periods at which Tsuchida was shooting in Berlin correspond to three phases in the history of the Berlin Wall: existence, disappearance, and memory.” Available here.

In addition to the new titles in the store, we’ve recently added some book spread photos for the following titles:

Record No. 23 (Signed), by Daido Moriyama

Tokoyo no Mushi, by Yoshiichi Hara

Soul Blue, by Keiko Nomura

Itasha-Z (signed), by Tomoyuki Sakaguchi

Books by Hiromi Tsuchida and Issei Suda

(You can watch the video at a larger size at Japan Exposures’ page on Vimeo.)

Back by popular demand (I think!), I’ve created another video book review. The last proper one of these I did was over a year ago (somewhat ironic considering I created the first ones as a way to save the time it would take to do a proper written review), so it’s certainly about time to have another go at them.

This time I look at two books that collect material shot in the predominantly rural areas of Japan in the 1970s: Zokushin, by Hiromi Tsuchida, and Minyou Sanga, by Issei Suda. Both works — Zokushin a 2004 reprint of a bona fide classic (see Vartanian/Kaneko, Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s, p. 192-196), Minyou Sanga a relatively recent publication of source material shot in the late 70s — were part of a distinct trend among Japanese photographers such as Daido Moriyama, Shomei Tomatsu, Yutaka Takanashi, Masatoshi Naito and Kazuo Kitai, to name a few, who explored subjects and landscapes far removed from the urban centers of Japan.

As I explain in my commentary on the video, both books ostensibly look at the festivals and rituals of Japan, particularly in rural areas where festivals and folk traditions continue to this day to exert a strong influence and sense of community. Nevertheless, they are as far from a “The Festivals of Japan” coffee table book sensibility as you are likely to find. While these festivals are the backbone of both books, I would argue that the books are much more portraits of people and communities trying to maintain an identity and connection to the past amidst a rapidly developing and urbanized Japan of the 70s.

俗神
Zokushin

Photographs by Hiromi Tsuchida
Revised edition, published in 2004 by Tosei-sha; hardcover with dustcover; 240 pages, 115 b/w plates; 30cm x 30cm; photo captions, afterword essay by Kazuhiko Komatsu, cover flap reprint of 1976 text by Toshinobu Yasunaga, and Tsuchida biography — all in English and Japanese; Tsuchida’s short text on the occassion of the reprint in Japanese only. (Please note that obi shown in the video is no longer available as per the artist’s request.)

民謡山河
Minyou Sanga

Photographs by Issei Suda
Published in 2007 by Tosei-sha; softcover with dustcover; 212 pages, 202 b/w plates; 19cm x 26cm; the book’s colophon is in both English and Japanese, but Suda’s two-page essay on the background of the project is in Japanese only. The photos are not captioned.


Both Zokushin and Minyou Sanga are available in the Japan Exposures bookstore.

2008 Nikon Salon Awards


In November, Nikon Salon announced that Kenshichi Heshiki* and Yasushi Nishimura were the 2008 winners of their annual Ina Nobuo and Miki Jun prizes, respectively.

The gallery, which since opening in 1968 has been instrumental in furthering the career of many a famous Japanese photographer, established the Ina Nobuo Award in 1976. The winner is chosen from amongst all the exhibitions held at the gallery in a given calendar year (October – September). The award is named for photography critic Nobuo Ina (1898-1978), the famed photography critic who headed Nikon Salon for its first 10 years of existence. Past winners have included Masahisa Fukase, Hiromi Tsuchida, and Hiroh Kikai (a full list of winners is at the bottom of this page). The winner receives a cash prize (this year, ¥1,000,000) as well as Nikon camera equipment.

This year’s 33rd annual Ina Nobuo Award winner Heshiki is a 60-year old photographer born in Nakijin, a village on Okinawa Island. His exhibition entitled 山羊の肺 沖縄1968-2005年 (Lungs of a Goat — Okinawa 1968-2005) — which was held at the Nikon Salon in Ginza in May of this year — brought together roughly 90 images showcasing nearly 40 years of work focused on the everyday lives of Okinawa’s citizens.

The Miki Jun Award was established in 1998 in commemoration of the gallery’s 30th anniversary, and is given to a photographer under 35 years old and is chosen from among artists exhibited at Nikon Salon’s Juna21 gallery space. The prize is named after the photo journalist Jun Miki (1919-1992), one-time pupil of Ken Domon who worked for Life Magazine and other photo news magazines after the war, and was later president of the Nikkor Club. Renowned first and foremost for his photo reportage, Miki also played an accidental but important role in establishing the worldwide reputation of Nikkor lenses.

This year’s winner was Yasushi Nishimura for his exhibition entitled 彼女のタイトル (Her Title), a depiction of a young and troubled young woman’s life over a year and a half period. The 26 year old Nishimura is a member of the Photographer’s Gallery collective.

Since 2003, as part of the Miki Jun Award, Nikon Salon also gives out two “Inspiration Awards”. This year’s winners were 23-year old Hatsumi Matsushita for her series of amusing self-portraits, and Kaori Inbe, a 28-year old Tokyo-based photographer, for her ironically entitled exhibition “Moral Society”. You can view online galleries of the three Miki Jun winners at Nikon’s “Independents” site. (Click on the second “Enter” button on that page. The prize winners are galleries #28 (Nishimura), #31 (Matsushita), and #27 (Inbe). For some reason, the site only works with Internet Explorer for me).

Nikon Salon will re-mount each of the five winning exhibitions in December and January at their Shinjuku and Osaka salons. See this page for details.

* Please note that Heshiki’s surname is also romanized as Hirashiki on some Nikon Salon web pages.

Acchi Kocchi: Here and There on the Web

From <em>Persona</em>, by Hiroh Kikai
Lens Culture has put up an interview with photographer Hiroh Kikai that was done by French curator and critic Marc Feustal, presumably conducted recently while Kikai was in Paris for the recently-concluded Paris Photo fair. I always appreciate photographers who are also articulate with the written word like Robert Adams, and have had a sense that Kikai, who studied philosophy at university and whose essays have been extensively published would fit this mold. However, only a few of his writings are available in English.

Truth be told, Kikai tells Feustal that “the idea of writing has always more or less paralyzed me,” and his take on writing and how it compares to photography is just one of several interesting insights into Kikai that the interview provides. I particularly appreciated this part:

To be completely honest with you, I must admit that I never look at the work of other photographers. I am always concerned that I will be destabilized by the fact that some of them are much better than I am. If a photographer cannot look at this work objectively, then he is not a true photographer. A photographer must constantly put himself into perspective because photography is not an innate language. It is not because I spend 24 hours running through the streets looking for photogenic models to pose for my camera that I will get good results.

Read the whole thing. It’s not terribly long but very insightful. Kikai’s Asakusa Portraits was published by the International Center of Photography and Steidl earlier this year, marking his first non-Japan published book. We have several earlier Kikai books in the bookstore (both new and used), including a small paperback version of the Asakusa Portraits, as well as my own personal favorite, Tokyo Labyrinth, now unfortunately out of print and a bit pricey.
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Curious to find out more about Marc Feustal, I was taken to Studio Equis Limited, which puts together exhibitions and publications focusing on post-war and contemporary Japanese photography. Feustal is one of Studio Equis’ directors along with Tsuguo Tada and Helen Feustal.

Studio Equis was behind the Eyes of an Island exhibit that was held in London in 2007, and a Hiromi Tsuchida exhibit in Los Angeles earlier this year. Not surprisingly they were involved in Paris Photo as well, where they presented Tokyo Stories, featuring nearly 100 rare prints by Hiroshi Hamaya, Tadahiko Hayashi and Shigeichi Nagano. The Studio Equis website has ample slide shows illustrating each of these exhibitions, as well as the Japan: a Self-Portrait, Photographs 1945-1964 one they will be putting on in Tokyo and Nagoya next year.

You can also browse photographs by artists including Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Toshio Shibata, and the aforementioned Hiroh Kikai, among others.
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Michael Hoppen Gallery is currently showing Hana Kinbaku, a series of “handmade, one-off diptychs, never before seen in the UK” by Nobuyoshi Araki.
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I have been looking for some sort of online blogging or reporting about Paris Photo but have not really come up with much. I’m probably not searching hard enough, although it isn’t exactly the kind of event that inspires “live blogging”, I suppose. 5B4/Errata Editions’ Jeffrey Ladd was there and he has a brief report on some of the proceedings, although nothing touching on the Japan side of things except for a picture of Koji Onaka signing books (scroll right to the end of this photo strip). It looks like he’s signing a copy of Tokyo Candy Box, which we are carrying in the bookstore (signed as well).

The event organizers themselves have posted five videos over at Dailymotion, of varying lengths (nine are listed but they include 4 duplicates). They’re a mixture of meandering through galleries and booths, and interviews with various participants or spectators, and more or less professionally done. Sound is mainly French or English depending on who is being interviewed. Japan-related content is scattered amongst all five videos.

YouTube has a few videos up which give a taste of the event. Start here or here (the latter more a slide show of pictures of the event).

This Flickr user has a few photos of the event at the beginning of his photostream. There are more photos here as well, although not so many on the Japan angle. Another gallery is here, along with a video if you scroll down the page. I was sort of expecting there to be quite a lot of photos on Flickr but there aren’t. It’s probably too early since past Paris events are well-represented.