Emi Fukuyama
2011, Dec 20
Emi Fukuyama, “A Trip to Europe,” an MCV MCV book


I’m pleased to announce the first title published by MCV MCV, Emi Fukuyama’s “A Trip to Europe.” It’s a small book of photos that Emi took in 2009, while spending a month or so in Germany, France and the Czech Republic. It costs ¥1500 (including worldwide shipping), and you can see more information about it here.

It’s taken well over a year to produce this book, as the project took a couple of different forms. I’m glad to have it out, and I’m looking forward to the next MCV MCV projects. In general, the desire to publish books is similar to the reason for writing this blog, namely to introduce foreign countries to Japanese photography—especially when it’s on a level (street level??) that might otherwise go unknown. Aperture is there to support Rinko Kawauchi, and this is a good thing, but who is supporting Emi?

I’ve recently been reminded of Winogrand’s famous quotation, “I photograph to see what the world looks like in photographs.” He’s talking in terms of experimentation, and that’s how I see this publishing project. I want to find out what happens when I push the work I’m seeing here out into the world.


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Emi Fukuyama, MCV MCV

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2010, Dec 03
December is a big month for Emi Fukuyama

© Emi Fukuyama

Hardcore followers of this blog will know that I’ve been talking about Emi Fukuyama’s work for a good while now. This month she’s got a lot going on: the biggest news is that she’s published her first book, “The Moon, Following Me,” with Tosei-sha. There’s not too much information about it online yet (you can see the cover on her website) but I’m sure if you email either Emi, or Kurt from Japan Exposures, you can find a way to buy it.

Along with the book, Emi has a show up at Tosei-sha for all of December. The content of the show more or less corresponds to the book, which is a summary of a three year series that Emi’s been exhibiting periodically at Totem Pole Photo Gallery.


© Setsuko Hayashida

Finally, Emi and Setsuko Hayashida are showing back-to-back exhibits at Totem Pole Gallery to coincide with the publication of their respective books – Hayashida just published “Looking for the Forest.” Hayashida’s exhibit is up from December 7-12, Emi’s is from December 14-19.

At 7:00pm on December 10th, there will be a talk show with Emi Fukuyama, Setsuko Hayashida, Kotaro Iizawa (preeminent Japanese photography critic) and Kunihiro Takahashi (head honcho of Tosei-sha and general badass). The talk show promises to be interesting, I will definitely be there, and you can attend as well, just by sending an email to the nice people at Totem Pole – info at tppg dot jp.


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Emi Fukuyama, Tosei-sha

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2010, Jun 29
Emi Fukuyama update

I’ve made a couple of posts about Emi Fukuyama before – I think she’s worth paying attention to. The photo above was part of Totem Pole Photo Gallery’s “Shinjuku X TPPG” exhibit, which featured work about Shinjuku from Totem Pole’s five members. It was very well done, including a free black-and-white magazine for the first 250 people to visit. From the link above you can see a few more images from the show.

Anyway, I was really impressed with this photo. It has all of Emi’s hallmarks – something in the foreground obscuring your view, a really muted range of tones – but this time I get an almost sinister feel from her work. It’s like looking at Tokyo in a fun-house mirror; I’ve seen a million photos of this building, and seen it in person plenty of times, but I’ve never seen it look like this before.

I received an email message a few days ago from a reader who said he had been really moved by Emi’s work. I may have said it before, but I am looking forward to bigger things in the future from Emi.


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2009, Jun 14
Emi Fukuyama and awkward photography

The current show at Totem Pole Photo Gallery, Emi Fukuyama’s “Followed By the Moon 4,” is really worth seeing if you’re in Tokyo during the next week. (It closes Sunday June 21.) Totem Pole is one of the strongest galleries in Tokyo, but this exhibition might be the best I’ve seen there.

a photo by Emi Fukuyama, from a previous show

The photographs in this show are all taken from positions that my friend called “awkward”—he pointed out that in almost each image, there’s something blurred in the foreground. This could be distracting, but the resistance draws your eye in to the rest of the frame, where something’s waiting for you, like umbrellas hanging outside an apartment, or chairs by a pool. The consistently expressive composition and lush black-and-white printing makes for a strong mood from start to finish. My friend and I walked out wanting to shoot a lot, which is a sign of a winning show.

Please enjoy, and let me know if you make it out, I’m curious to hear other responses.

[map to Totem Pole Photo Gallery]


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