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December 2013
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2013, Dec 23
Things I liked in 2013 (non exhaustive)

This started out as a list of photography books I liked, but now it’s just a list of “things.”

Go Itami, Study 1. Rondade. Design by The Simple Society 2. Great book design. I think this book will be worth a lot in the future.

Taisuke Koyama, The City Breathes and Ages 3. Maybe my favorite book, because it’s cheap (¥1000) and uses an unusual form (the children’s book).

Naoya Hatakeyama, Kesengawa. Light Motiv. Wrote a couple of words about it here 4.

Mika Kitamura, Einmal ist keinmal 5. Therme. Snap’s not dead.

Takuma Nakahira, Gecko. Little Big Man. I meant to write lots more about how good the Japanese books coming out of Little Big Man have been, but this book sold out so quickly that I just didn’t get around to it. The Keizo Kitajima book from last year, USSR 1991, is incredible.

Shomei Tomatsu, Make 6. Super Labo. Just really good.

Kyoungtae Kim, On the Rocks 7. Your Mind. Wait, maybe this was my favorite book, and not just because it was cheap.

Lieko Shiga, Rasen Kaigan. Akaaka. I saw the exhibit the first week of January, and probably didn’t see anything better the rest of the year. This book is the catalog of that exhibition.

Kitai Kazuo Slideshow, Earth DOM. This might have been as good as Shiga’s exhibit in terms of the impact it had on me, the sense of experiencing something great, not in the totalized Wagnerian sense but in a fragmented way.

Kazuo Yoshida, “TB” at hpgrp. Yoshida is going to do big things.

The first room of Issei Suda’s show at Syabi. Like a black and white Rinko Kawauchi, and I mean this in a good way.

Kayo Ume’s installation of Jiichamsama at her Tokyo Opera City show.

Chu-ha Chung’s speaking event.

Hiroko Komatsu’s show at photographers’ gallery.

Taisuke Koyama’s installation in Shodoshima.

Wataru Yamamoto, “Drawing a Line” at photographers’ gallery and “Plane Tree Observations” at Yumiko Chiba.

Keiji Uematsu, “Cutting‐Axis・Latitude・Longitude” at Yumiko Chiba.

The “Out of Doubt” exhibit at Mori Art Museum, a great attempt to locate some kind of consciousness in contemporary Japanese art.

Talking about baseball with Seung Woo Back.

Generational solidarity.

Being able to read Japanese.

Showing my parents and my sister around Japan.

Kathryn Abbe, “Light and Shadow” at Tosei-sha.

Kathryn Abbe, “Light and Shadow” at Tosei-sha.



							

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Go Itami, Issei Suda, Kayo Ume, Kazuo Yoshida, Kyoungtae Kim, Lieko Shiga, Mika Kitamura, Naoya Hatakeyama, Seung Woo Back, Shomei Tomatsu, Taisuke Koyama, Takuma Nakahira

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2013, Dec 20
Keiko Sasaoka

"Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, 8/7/2013" © Keiko Sasaoka

I have not mentioned Keiko Sasaoka 1 on this blog before, but I just saw her recent exhibit at photographers’ gallery, “Difference 3.11,” and I think that this could become an essential work of post 3/11 photography.

This photo was my favorite.



							

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3/11 Earthquake, Keiko Sasaoka

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2013, Dec 03
Kazuo Kitai metal slideshow

Next Tuesday, December 10, Kazuo Kitai 1 will hold a combination photography slideshow / death metal concert at Earthdom 2 in Shin-Okubo, one of Tokyo’s best-known metal “live houses.” This is the third metal slideshow he’s held, I missed the first two but I’m planning to go next week. You can find a video of the last one on YouTube. I don’t want to post it here, partially because the quality is not great, but mostly because this probably something that you can only grasp through through experience.

It’s no secret that I really respect Kitai, but even so: at age 69, staging a performance of your work at Earthdom is very radical. I’m excited.



							

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Kazuo Kitai

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