July 2012
2012, Jul 24
San Francisco is a good place to be for Japanese photography right now

© Naoya Hatakeyama

Two shows going up in San Francisco this week are well worth seeing. The first is Naoya Hatakeyama’s “Natural Stories” at SFMOMA 1. This exhibit was shown in Tokyo last year, and it includes Hatakeyama’s photographs taken after the 3/11 earthquake. I still think these are, without any question, the “best” images to come out of the disaster yet. If you have any interest in photography after 3/11, you must see the show.

Also, Nobuyoshi Araki has a show of old and new photographs 2, dated 1979 – 2040. I saw it in Tokyo a few months ago, and if it’s similar to what was exhibited here, the show may include some truly excellent photographs of pizza.


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3/11 Earthquake, Naoya Hatakeyama, SFMOMA

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2012, Jul 20
Japanese Photobooks In London

If you, like the rest of the world, happen to be around London in the next couple of months, you probably ought to check out the Contemporary Japanese Photobooks exhibit at The Photographer’s Gallery. 1 It looks like it gives an overview of book publishing in Japan, and I heard that there are some weird animal-themed books and other errata there as well.

The exhibit has a Tumblr 2, which is noteworthy in that each book has a comment page, and viewers like us are encouraged to submit a topic to the site for discussion. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen, but the idea is a good one.

The links are already rolling in, including a post from Microcord 3 going over the specifics of some of the books, and a useless review 4 of the show. I’ll update if anything else comes in; I’d love to hear what Francis Hodgson 5 has to say about it.

http://francishodgson.com/: Really recommend his writing


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2012, Jul 13
Naohiro Utagawa

Naohiro Utagawa’s work was part of the Space Cadet show a few weeks ago. 1 I’d seen his snapshots before, but he’d completely changed his approach this time. The work is still in its early stages—it doesn’t even have a title yet!



All images by Naohiro Utagawa

All images by Naohiro Utagawa


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Naohiro Utagawa, Space Cadet

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2012, Jul 04
PH, a new site for Japanese photography

A spread from Yuhki Touyama's book "Line13"

Andrew and I have been working for a while on PH, a website about Japanese photography. 1 PH is meant to help facilitate interaction between Japanese photographers and foreign audiences, so for the moment we are distributing photography books which would be otherwise difficult to acquire, either for reasons of sheer unavailability anywhere else online, or cost. The site is still being updated frequently, both in terms of content and structure, so please do check back every so often. (We also have a Twitter account 2 and mailing list 3, which we don’t plan to email often.)

So far we are already featuring a number of old Street Level Japan favorites, including Aya Fujioka’s “I Don’t Sleep,” 4 Kazuyoshi Usui’s “Showa88” 5 and Hiroshi Takizawa’s “A Rock of the Moon.” 6

The one thing I’ll crow about is the shipping mechanism for the site, which automatically calculates your shipping cost based on the total weight of your order (including the weight of the box required to ship the books you’ve chosen) and your country of residence, giving you either 2 or 3 possible shipping methods to choose from.

If you have any questions or comments about the site, don’t hesitate to ask.


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Aya Fujioka, Hiroshi Takizawa, Kazuyoshi Usui, PH

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