October 2011
2011, Oct 26
SLJ sells out


Well, it’s been a good run here with everyone, but I got a call from the major leagues of blogging, so it’s time to bust out of here. Just kidding of course, but I have started writing on a pretty regular basis for the website of American Photo Magazine. It’s a great chance to write about the world of photography beyond Japan, and also introduce Japan to America and beyond.

Since the site launched I interviewed two of my favorite photographers, Michael Jang and Ed Panar. Where to even go from there? I’m not sure.

Like always, I’m not sure exactly how much I’ll post here, but I’m sure it probably won’t change much from the usual erratic rhythm. Some of my friends have noted that I try to maintain a “mysterious” online persona, which is probably true, but really I’m incredibly lucky just to be able to write this blog, and I hope to post with such urgency over at American Photo as well.


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American Photo Magazine, Ed Panar, Michael Jang

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2011, Oct 22
ROLLS TOHOKU, updated with photos from August

ROLLS TOHOKU has been updated with new photos, taken over five days in August. It’s still the only thing worth looking at besides Hatakeyama’s show. Here are some of the photos that stood out to me from this update.

Anonymous woman in Shizukawa:





Kokoa, a girl in Watanoha:











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3/11 Earthquake, ROLLS TOHOKU

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2011, Oct 19
Hatakeyama’s Post-3/11 Photos at Syabi

A couple of weeks ago I saw Naoya Hatakeyama’s latest exhibit, “Natural Stories,” at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Photography Museum. Hatakeyama is from Rikuzen-Takada, one of the villages which was devastated by the tsunami this March. I don’t have the time or space here to explain why these photos were so great, but along with ROLLS TOHOKU, they are the only photographs taken of post-3/11 destruction I’ve seen so far which are “good,” strange as it is to use that word here.

With Hatakeyama’s blessing, I took some cell phone shots of the exhibit, but I don’t think it makes any sense to post them here. If you’re in Tokyo, you should go, the exhibit is up through December 4. I think it’s going to travel after that, first to Amsterdam and then maybe eventually San Francisco. I’ll try to keep an eye on the work and see if a book comes out, though I have a feeling that will not happen anytime soon.


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3/11 Earthquake, Naoya Hatakeyama, ROLLS TOHOKU, Tokyo Metropolitan Photography Museum

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2011, Oct 18
Finally, finally

After making a name for himself among Japanese photography bloggers (all 5 of us, me Marc Dirk Kurt John) by commenting on Japanese photography blogs, Peter Evans has started a blog of his own. It’s a welcome addition, because he can now put his tremendous knowledge of Japanese photography to use. Worth following.


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2011, Oct 14
Pharrell Williams x Rolls Tohoku (really)

I found this link to a 5 part video series hosted by Pharrell, called “Tokyo Rising.” It’s about how the “creative class” (their words not mine!) is on the rebound after 3/11. For maybe obvious reasons, I was pretty skeptical. Could Pharrell really say something meaningful?

As it turns out, yeah. Well, not actually, but that’s not the point. He (or really his production team, but whatever) clearly got in touch with a lot of really good people, and gave them a platform to speak. The founder of Shiroto no Ran, a used furniture store/radical protest group, is featured pretty prominently, but beyond that he also checked out an installation of the Rolls Tohoku project! I didn’t even know about the exhibit myself… damn, scooped by Pharrell in my own backyard.


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2011, Oct 12
Leo Rubinfien, “Wounded Cities” for Tokyo Art Beat

Hello to readers coming here from Tokyo Art Beat, where I’ve posted a review of Leo Rubinfien’s “Wounded Cities,” which is up at Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art until October 23.

I’d link to some prime posts I’ve done over the years (!) here, but actually the front page is looking nice enough right now, so please look around and make yourself at home.


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