I’ve spent a lot of time recently writing articles for IMA 1, which has sometimes put me in the strange position of explaining Japanese photographers to a Japanese audience. I’m noticing that my text is often expending a lot of energy accounting for common Western perceptions of Japanese photography, or vice versa. For example, in writing about Daisuke Yokota 2, I need to explain that his work is pretty easy for Westerners to understand because it looks like classic Japanese photography from the 60s and 70s—which, for some Western people, is what “Japanese photography” means, but I can’t assume that Japanese people know this.
Muddling through these issues takes me back to a time about two or three years ago, when I felt very aware of a gap in understanding between Japan and the rest of the world. I don’t think things have changed all that much since then, except that I now feel less strongly about wanting to bridge that gap through blogging.