HIROSHI SUGIMOTO | Yellow Sea, Cheju, 1992

Focus on contemporary Japanese photography. Interview with Mariko Takeuchi, Part I

Last year’s Paris Photo fair with Japan as “Guest of Honour” was a huge success and on this occasion the Dutch photography magazine “foam” contacted me to do an interview with Mariko Takeuchi, the Guest Curator of Paris Photo. The interview was published in foam magazine #17, winter 2008. I will publish the full interview in two parts. The images are a new addition for the blog [the interview was without images, except some very nice portraits of Mariko :-)].

Part II here
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Part I (of II)

The 2008 edition of Paris Photo – one of the world’s most important fairs for still photography – took place in the Carrousel du Louvre in mid-November. This year Japan was Guest of Honour, an exceptional opportunity to present an overview of Japanese photography. Photography has been a major feature of Japanese culture since its introduction in 1848, attracting wide international attention in the 1990s and growing world interest ever since.

We asked Ferdinand Brueggemann, Director of Galerie Priska Pasquer in Cologne and passionate founder of the photo blog Japan-Photo.info to discuss the current state of Japanese photography with the Guest Curator of the show, Mariko Takeuchi.

Nobuyoshi Araki, Yoko, from 'Sentimental Journey', 1971 ©Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki, Yoko, from ‘Sentimental Journey’, 1971 ©Nobuyoshi Araki

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Abstract: Contemporary Japanese Photography and Life Style

I know, I did not write much in the last four weeks, but I was very busy recently and last week had to prepare my lecture for the symposium on Japanese Photography in Winterthur (see my previous post). The symposium was booked out, well organized and very interesting with topics from Japanese post war history to Japanese photobooks. Additionally great Japanese food – not the usual Sushi :-) – was served and DJane Hito provided a nice soundtrack to the party afterwards.

Eikoh Hosoe

I am planning my to publish my lecture in the future, but it will take some time since it will be a part of a larger essay on contemporary Japanese photography. Anyway, below you will find my abstract for the symposium with some images I showed during my talk (in no particular order).
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The ultimate list of Japanese photography books. Not!

Books on Photography Books

In the last years the interest in Japanese photography books has jumped from non recognition to becoming a must have not only for specialized photo book collectors. Books which were completely unknown outside Japan except to a few well informed collectors and researchers are now sold at high prices by rare book dealers and at auctions.1)The latest and most spectacular rare photobook auction was a few months ago at Christie’s in London. I know it is a little bit late, but nevertheless I will write a short report about the auction results in another post – after I have received the auction catalogue which I had to buy from a auction catalogue dealer in the US, since the catalogue was sold out weeks before the auction started….

It all began in 1999 with the exhibition catalogue “Fotografia Publica. Photography in Print 1919-1939”.

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References   [ + ]

1. The latest and most spectacular rare photobook auction was a few months ago at Christie’s in London. I know it is a little bit late, but nevertheless I will write a short report about the auction results in another post – after I have received the auction catalogue which I had to buy from a auction catalogue dealer in the US, since the catalogue was sold out weeks before the auction started….

Miyako Ishiuchi at Venice Biennale and at Third Gallery Aya, Osaka

Miyako Ishiuchi: Mother, 2002

Well-respected female photographer, Miyako Ishiuchi, who was selected by Commissioner Michiko Kasahara to represent Japan at the Venice Biennale this year, has revealed her plans for the show.
Ishiuchi will present her new “Mother’s” series, a group of photographs documenting her mother, an apparently stong-willed woman who lived through tumultuous times stretching from life in colonial Manchuria in the 1930s to wartime Japan where she worked as a truck driver. Ishiuchi’s tribute will start with a photograph of her mother, but will consist mostly of “portraits” of her clothing and possessions: chemises, combs and other personal effects. It promises to be a deeply personal, unassuming installation.
(source: Japanese Art Scene Monitor )

The series “Mother” is exhibited at Third Gallery Aya (Jp.) in Osaka from today on until February 19. Third Gallery Aya is a very good place IMHO which had a lot of interesting shows over the years.
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