Tamotsu Kido was born in 1974 in Mie Prefecture. He studied oil painting at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Despite the lack of a formal course in photography at the university, Kido soon transitioned to producing photographs instead of paintings under the guidance of the artist Nobuya Hitsuda.
Kido’s photographs explore the idea of symmetry in natural objects, such as landscapes and most recently the bodies of animals. His work was shown at Galerie Tokyo Humanité during August 2010.
Souichiro Yamaguchi was born in 1959 in Saga Prefecture, located in the northwestern part of Kyushu. After graduating from Tōkyō Shashin Senmon Gakkō (now Tokyo Visual Arts) in 1981, he pursued commercial and editorial photography in Tokyo. In 1993 he published a book of his personal work, City Circuitry.
Eventually, however, Yamaguchi decided to give up photography and return to a place closer to his roots, settling down in Okayama Prefecture, where he now runs a small hotel. It is only in the last few years that he regained his passion for photography, resulting in the book EAST POINT, published by Sokyu-sha in January of this year and from which the above photo was taken, and featuring landscape work from the eastern part of Okayama where he lives. Recently Yamaguchi has issued another book of landscapes from Okayama, front window.
EAST POINT is available in the Japan Exposures Bookshop.
Koichi Nishiyama was born in 1968 in Yokohama, Japan. He studied contemporary art at B Seminar School in Yokohama. After graduation, he undertook performance art, Installation art, and organized exhibitions. He took up photography in 2007 by studying “Workshop Calotype” by Jun Shiraoka in Tokyo.
He comments on his own work as follows: “The landscapes in my work convey both a feeling of emptiness and vacancy, as well as a certain sense of intimacy that can yet be found in the middle of that desolation. My works represent an attempt to retrieve a connection to the world that has been lost by confronting the spectacle of absence and disappearance.”
See also our extended Gallery by Koichi Nishiyama with more images from the Nowhere series.
Mikiko Hara was born in Toyama Prefecture in 1967. She graduated from Keio University in Literature in 1990 and Tokyo College of Photography in 1994, where she was also a research student until 1996. Hara has had numerous solo exhibitions and exhibited internationally in Europe and in Asia. “Hysteric Thirteen,” a photo-book of her work, was published in 2005 by Hysteric Glamour, Tokyo, and her work has been included in the international collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. She is represented by Third District Gallery.
The work of Mikiko Hara is hardly a new discovery as she has been working prolifically and exhibited extensively since the late nineties. That period also happened to coincide with the rise of Japanese female photographers labelled “onna no ko shashinka,” usually translated into English as “girlie photographers.” However, to mention her name in that context is a misplaced generalization of her work, and like all generalizations an inaccurate typecasting of other Japanese photographers that happen to be female.
Her photographs, taken in color in the square 6×6 roll film format, are subtle snapshot observations of people in public. The viewpoint taken by Hara represents an open invitation to connect with those pictured individuals. We, the viewers, can almost read the thoughts on their minds.
Miyuki Okuyama was born in Higashine, Yamagata Prefecture, in 1973. She received both a BA and MA in Studio Art from the University of Alabama in the US, and has been based in The Netherlands for the last few years. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Europe and at home, and was recently part of a three-person exhibition at The Empty Quarter in Dubai. In 2006, she was a finalist for the Hitotsubo-Ten prize (previous winners include Rinko Kawauchi, Mika Ninagawa, and Shin Suzuki).
See also our extended gallery with work by Miyuki Okuyama.
Shinya Arimoto was born in Osaka in 1971. He graduated from Osaka School of Visual Arts (whose faculty includes Daido Moriyama) in 1994. Since his graduation he held numerous exhibitions and since 2006 is a represented member of Totem Pole Photo Gallery. A solo exhibition titled 「ariphoto selection vol.1」is held at the gallery from 6-11 July 2010.
See also our extended gallery with work by Shinya Arimoto.
Aya Okabe was born and raised in Tokyo. A student of Mitsugu Onishi, Koji Onaka, and Masato Seto, she continues to hold solo shows of her work in Tokyo. Since the creation of the 2008 series 天晴つばめ (very loosely translated as “Swallows in Clear Skies”), from which the above photo comes, she has set down her DSLR to upgrade to a 35mm rangefinder and the joys of cheap consumer grade color negative film.