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Keizo Kitajima
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2014, Jul 15
Tokyo shows

© Wataru Yamamoto

Now is a good time to see exhibits in Tokyo. Why now, in July, when each day is more unbearable than the last?

I was really impressed by Kunié Sugiura’s show at Taka Ishii Gallery 1, “You are always on my mind / you are always in my heart; photo-painting and photo collage, 1976-1981.” Almost 40 years ago, Sugiura was doing things that younger photographers are just figuring out now. Sugiura is a long-term resident of New York, and she says that this work was not received well at all there when she made it. Better late than never? I’m going to see this one again. Until 7/26.

Kazuo Kitai has a show at Zen Foto Gallery 2, “One Road,” which is worth a look. Also until 7/26.

Wataru Yamamoto is opening up a new solo show, “Spring,” at Yumiko Chiba Associates 3, from 7/25 – 8/23.

Keizo Kitajima also has the latest installment of his “UNTITLED PHOTOGRAPHS” 4 series up at photographers’ gallery, until 8/10.



							

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Exhibits, Kazuo Kitai, Keizo Kitajima, Kunié Sugiura, Wataru Yamamoto

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2014, Apr 24
Keizo Kitajima, “Untitled Records”

I have not written as much about Keizo Kitajima as I would have liked; his work interests me quite a lot, in no small part because of the progression of his career, from black-and-white Moriyama snapshot disciple to crisp, large format color urban landscape photographer. He has produced a number of noteworthy photobooks, but I would like to give a special mention to his project USSR 1991 1, which was realized as a photobook by Little Big Man.

Kitajima has just started a project called Untitled Records, which will consist of 25 exhibitions (to be held four times a year) at photographers’ gallery 2 in Shinjuku. A small, reasonably-priced booklet will accompany each exhibit. The first exhibit, which consisted of three images taken in Tohoku after the earthquake, just closed last week. The good news for people outside of Japan—and indeed, the reason that I’m writing about the show here—is that Kitajima has created a website 3 to track the progress of the project.

I look forward to tracking it myself as a “person outside of Japan,” because I am returning to America in just a matter of months; this September, I will start a PhD program in Art History at UCLA. “Street Level Westwood”? I don’t think so.

2
http://pg-web.net/: Kitajima’s own gallery, and these days my “favorite photo gallery in Tokyo”


							

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3/11 Earthquake, Exhibits, Keizo Kitajima, Photographers' gallery

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2013, Mar 24
Keizo Kitajima, “Places” at Nikon Salon Ginza

© Keizo Kitajima

This exhibit, still up until 3/26, is part of Nikon Salon’s “Remembrance 3.11,” a series of photo shows commemorating the second anniversary of the 2011 disasters which continue to affect Japan. Kitajima has positioned these photos as an extension of his own “Places” series, in which he carefully observes man-made environments 1. (Rat Hole Gallery has published a book of this work under the title Isolated Places.) About half of the photos in the exhibit plainly show the destructive power of the tsunami, but the other half of the exhibit, including images like the one above, do not immediately reveal any sign of damage. It would be difficult to classify these latter images as “disaster photos,” and that helps to explain why they are so strong.



							

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Keizo Kitajima

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