In the beginning my interest in Japanese photography was focussed on modern photography of the 1920s and 1930s. This interest led to an 18 months stay as a research fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo, at the end 1990s. During this stay I met many younger photographers and soon I became fascinated by the contemporary photography scene in Tokyo. Today I am going to Japan regularly and when I am there I try get as much information as possible about new developments in Japanese photography (photographers, publications, exhibitions, e.g.).
The photography scene in Japan is very vivid, especially in Kanto (Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki area) and Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe area) with most photographers living there, with several photography collections in museums, with very active curators, with many galleries and several photobook shops.
Even today the work of many Japanese photographers is not that well known outside Japan and just a part of the photography book production finds its way to a few specialized books stores in the West. Even the most interesting Japanese exhibitions don’t travel abroad and museum catalogues are virtually unavailable outside Japan. Moreover Japanese photography exhibitions are rarely reviewed or even recognized outside Japan.
With my blog Japan-Photo.info I hope to give some help to navigate through the complex and ever changing scene. My focus is at Japanese photography books – one remarkable characteristic of Japanese photography is the huge book production -, at information about Japanese photography exhibitions in- and outside Japan and single artists and their work.
As the director of Galerie Priska Pasquer I am in the favourable position to work with Japanese photographers and their photographs daily and to exhibit them at our gallery and to introduce their work at art fairs – just to name a few: Daido Moriyama, Eikoh Hosoe, Issei Suda, Rinko Kawauchi, Asako Narahashi or Mika Ninagawa.
PS: You can find my writings and lectures on Japanese photography here.
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Text: © Ferdinand Brueggemann
Images: © the photographers