At the same time that Yuhki Touyama’s exhibit is up at 35 Minutes, her photos will also be displayed halfway around the world in America. I have no idea if anyone in Indiana reads this blog, but her work will be part of a show of four female Japanese photographers up from February 3 to March 31 at Bloomington’s Pictura Gallery.
From September 10 to October 29, Jablonka Pasquer Projects in Cologne will be showing an exhibition featuring four Japanese photographers: Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi, Shomei Tomatsu.
Here’s my knee-jerk reaction to reading about this exhibit: this is exactly the kind of conservative, “Moriyama syndrome” show that major galleries or institutions put on when they want to “go Japanese.” All that’s missing is Hiroshi Sugimoto, just for good measure—SFMOMA actually did this a couple of years ago. There’s no attempt to draw some kind of link between the four dudes, just “here’s some famous Japanese photography—please buy some!”
To be fair, Priska Pasquer is heavily invested in Japanese photography, and they recently gave the excellent Lieko Shiga a solo show. From a business perspective, I can also understand why it is necessary to put on a big boring show: this stuff will sell more than an up and coming artist. Yet I feel little sympathy at the moment. This exhibit only perpetuates the idea that “Japanese photography” is equal to “the work of men breathing around 1970.”
This summer, Stockholm’s Fotografiska exhibited the ROLLS TOHOKU project. I don’t want to bore you any more with why I think these photos are by far the “best” to come out of the tsunami so far, I’ll just say that my opinion hasn’t changed.
I think the contact sheet style works well here, to convey as much information as possible. (It also gets the curators out of having to make aesthetic choices, which is a good thing.) The spotlighting seems a little too dramatic, but whatever, ROLLS in Europe yall. I wonder what people thought of it.
This exhibit was coordinated by Marc Feustel of eyecurious fame. It was a proper internet effort though: John Sypal posted the link to ROLLS on Facebook after seeing it on Tumblr, then I emailed it to Marc, who sweet talked the Swedes into making the show happen. Magic.
I’ll continue to try to find out what’s happening with ROLLS and update here if there’s anything.
The following photos are © Michael Björnlycke: