Today is “Shashin no Hi”, the Day of the Photograph in Japan. My modest research skills in Japanese bring to light, that this day is held since 1996, with the intention to spread and grow photographic culture. Many shows and exhibitions take place during the core months May and June. Probably the Museum of Photography in Ebisu is a good place to start, or one of the many galleries and salons in Ginza, which is where I heard of it.
At lunchtime I pop into the Kodak salon from time to time. I have no real connection to Kodak, using none of their products, except lens cleaning paper maybe. But the Kodak and Canon salons are within walking distance from the office and shows change frequently, making it a nice diversion. In gallery 2 was a captivating series of images of a child, maybe the photographer’s son in different places or doing different things. Each frame on the wall actually consisted of one or two series of 5 or 10 images. In a way these are sequences of images, possibly taken with a 4.5 x 6 medium format camera, vertical format (maybe a MF rangefinder then). They are fairly small and arranged looking a little like contact strips. Unfortunately the show ends soon, but I recommend looking at it, because it is rare that what often ends up as family photos can rise up into the spheres of art. I wouldn’t have thought that it would work and I am surprised it does.
On the way out I notice the flyer for this year’s World Press Photo. I have to admit I haven’t been touched by an image for a while like I have been by winner Jean-Marc Bouju’s photo of “Iraqi man comforts his son at a holding center for prisoners of war”. It’s good to know that there are still moving images and people out there to get them. What could be better on the Day of the Photograph?