This year’s Paris Photo photography fair gets under way tomorrow and you’d have to live under a rock not to know that this year the fair has selected Japan as it’s “foreign scene” of focus.
Indeed, talking with various people this past week, you have to wonder what Japanese photographer is NOT going to Paris. Even those who have no books to sign or photos to show will be going to soak in the limelight of attention as Japan’s rich and vibrant photographic history and current scene are displayed for the denizens of Paris to see (although according to the press information, 40% of the anticipated 40,000 visitors are expected to come from outside France).
Mariko Takeuchi is the guest curator for the Japan spotlight, and you can read her overview of Japanese photography over at Lens Culture.
If you’re not going to Paris but would like to drool along with me and lots of other folks who won’t be going, I recommend taking a look at pages 8 – 22 of the Press Kit .pdf which gives a pretty thorough rundown of anything and everything connected with Japan on display or view. Particularly intriguing are the Project Room which will present a series of contemporary videos by Japanese photographers — such as a DVD copy of a 8mm film shot by Daido Moriyama in Shinjuku in 1973 — and the Central Exhibition which aims to highlight the central role of the photo book to Japanese photography and features five Japanese publishers like Seigensha and Tosei-sha.
Speaking of books, here’s something that will really make photography and photography book lovers drool: a list of scheduled book signings (.pdf) taking place over the four days. Of course Japanese photographers are healthily represented, but signers also include William Klein, Alec Soth, and Stephen Shore.