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June 2012
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2012, Jun 28
Links, June 28 2012

It seems like my faith in online writing erodes a little bit more each day. Here are a few recent links that broke through the endless content-waves, though.

n+1, “Please RT.” 1 n+1 on writing in the time of Twitter. Quote: “You won’t sound contemporary and for real unless it sounds like you’re writing off the top of your head. Thus: ‘In The Jargon of Authenticity, Adorno went bonkers with rage, and took off after Heidegger and the existentialists with a buzz saw…'”

Joanna Scott on Vivian Maier in The Nation. 2 Sharp writing.

The latest “Behind the Notes” column for American Photo. 3 This 14-year-old photographer writes more eloquently about Tumblr than you. It fills me with so much pride that she’s from Berkeley.

Francis Hodgson on PhotoEspaña in Financial Times. 4 Includes an enjoyable skewering of curator language.

Meet the “other” Dan Abbe, “Ranger Dan” Abbe. 5



							

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Links

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2012, Jun 27
Hardcore T-Shirt Photography, from Thailand

© Miti Ruangkritya

Miti Ruangkritya is a young Thai photographer with some interesting projects on his website. I was particularly drawn to “Thai Politics,” 1 a three-part series (as he says) “regarding the ongoing political tension in Thailand.” Perhaps it’s the general lack of politically-motivated photography in Japan, but it was refreshing to see these photos taking the pulse of people through their t-shirts. As a point of reference from Japan, the late and very great Yasuhiro Ishimoto did a similar project in the late 90s, shooting the backs of pedestrians in Shibuya. This work was published as a book, “Shibuya, Shibuya,” 2 which I can recommend very highly.

© Miti Ruangkritya

© Miti Ruangkritya

2
http://www.japanexposures.com/books/product_info.php?products_id=10268: A link to purchase the book easily through Japan Exposures


							

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Thailand, Yasuhiro Ishimoto

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2012, Jun 18
Forgot About Daido

Almost as soon as I arrived in Japan, my overall estimation of Daido Moriyama took a plunge. 1 I’d come with nothing but admiration, but the quality of the work he was releasing seemed average at best, while at the same time Daido paraphernalia 2 was flooding the market. Above all, I doubted that he had anything new (and relevant) to show us early millenials.

Moriyama’s latest show at Taka Ishii Gallery, “Color,” had me going back on all that. This exhibit (and really, one particular wall of the gallery) not only shows why Moriyama should be taken seriously as a contemporary photographer, but also provides a way to understand his previous work. I wrote a review at Tokyo Art Beat 3 which more or less expresses why I responded so well to the show. There may be no saving “Nagisa” 4 for me—and I can’t even recommend the book version of “Color” because of the way it’s printed—but I’m definitely interested in what Daido is doing again, after a 3 year break. Of course he may disappoint again, but even so, this exhibit was an important one.

1
http://blog.mcvmcv.net/2009/03/11/too-much-daido-or-takusan-moriyama-san/: A very early post on this blog, which marked the beginning of the end, as I came to think
4
http://www.japanexposures.com/2010/06/13/moriyamas-kabukicho-lounge-singer-girlfriend-love-story-nagisa-review/: Moriyama’s gigantic book of photos of his (actually very cool) girlfriend


							

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Daido Moriyama

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2012, Jun 13
Conversation about a Japanese photographer’s idea for a project

A: That’s already been covered by [Western concept-based art movement].

Me: I don’t think he’s aware of [Western concept-based art movement].

B: Well, that’s kind of his problem.

Yes, it is. How naive is too naive?


							

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2012, Jun 10
Short report on Space Cadet

Yumiko Utsu

The Space Cadet 1 opening was last night, and it was a pleasant surprise to see lots of people showing up on a rainy night to look at photographs. I don’t have anything comprehensive to say about the show right now, but after being kind of apprehensive 2 about the whole thing in my last post, I do want to say that it is worth seeing if you can. It’s only up until this Friday, and the location 3 is objectively inconvenient (although I can ride my bike there). Still it’s a chance to see what Tokyo’s young photographers are trying.



							

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Space Cadet

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2012, Jun 08
Conversation with a photographer from outside of Japan

Her: Why is Rinko Kawauchi so popular here?

Me: Well, it seems like Japanese people are attracted to small moments of quiet beauty…

Her: Still?


							

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Rinko Kawauchi

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