Of course, the texture and the feeling of flesh are important elements for me too. And the appreciation of the model nude, the time while they are taking off and putting on their clothes. I like to capture the slight change in the air. It could be both comfortable and uncomfortable but there is an attraction there.
Sakiko Nomura, “In Conversation With Sakiko Nomura and Eiki Mori”
…[I]t seems necessary first to ask why [Tomatsu’s] inquiry was important. Why should it not have been good enough for Japan to be the fifty-first star amid the stripes, as Tomatsu once called it, and, anyway, why did it matter to him? Perhaps it will not be overreaching to propose that the shattering of Japan in the war was also the shattering of Tomatsu himself, and that it was himself he had to re-create, just as the cities had to re-create themselves where little remained but burnt planes. Buried within every person is a point of intersection between the unique matter of which he consists and the generality of the nation in which he was made — a point where one is inextricable from what one believes one’s nation to be —and it is of the essence of Tomatsu’s work that it makes the national personal and the personal national. Beyond this it is difficult to see.
— Leo Rubinfien, “Shōmei Tōmatsu: The Skin of the Nation”
Compiled from the July 1979 issue of Asahi Camera
Top row, left to right:
Moriyama Daido, Kuwabara Kineo, Tsuchida Hiromi, Sawatari Hajime
Bottom row, left to right:
Araki Nobuyoshi, Suda Issei, Akiyama Ryoji, Kitai Kazuo
Takuma Nakahira (left) and unidentified, Paris, 1971. From Circulation: Date, Place, Events (2012).
At that point, I had covered the wall space allotted to me, the floor below it, the reception desk, and the poles holding up the exhibition hall with the photographs I had taken. Furthermore, many of these had been torn down here and there, sometime by themselves of by someone’s mischief, and scattered all over the place. These photographs were apparently considered eyesores, yet I flatly refused their request [to move the photos]. My “work of art” included the total process of photographing, developing, and displaying these photographs everyday, running around like a mouse on a treadmill. Thus, the mountain of photographs that resulted were mere traces of a particular span of time I had lived, and therefore had to be presented and openly accessible to others as best as possible.
Takuma Nakahira, “The Exhaustion of Contemporary Art: My Pariticpation in the Seventh Paris Biennale” (first published in 1971, translated and reprinted in Circulation: Date, Place, Events (2012).
From top to bottom:
Kiyoshi Suzuki, 2010 MOMAT Catalog
Kanendo Watanabe, A Town Already Seen
Kazuo Kitai, Walking with Leica 3
Seiji Kurata et al., Za, Bosouzoku
Shogo Yamada, Omni Polis
Kazuo Kitai, Spanish Night
Yutaka Takanashi, IN
Yoshiichi Hara, Walk while ye have the light
Masatoshi Naito, Tono Monogatari
Kikuji Kawada, The Globe Theater
Yukichi Watabe, Morocco
Yoshiichi Hara, Fubaika
Kinsuke Shimada, Oka
Yutaka Takanashi, Machi
Tomoko Matsushima, 1976. Photo by Hajime Sawatari.
Hajime [Sawatari] is the kind of person who is genius when you let him do what he likes. This may sound somewhat impertinent, but I don’t think there are any true genius photographers. Photographers always have to borrow something to shoot, don’t they, whether it is a person or a landscape? I think a true genius is someone who creates something from scratch, which is why I think that true genius among photographers is impossible. Having said that though, I still think there are actually two genius photographers, and Hajime is one of them. I won’t mention the name of the other.
— Yutaka Takanashi, “Yutaka Takanashi X Hajime Sawatari X Naoki Nishi”
It’s Kazuo Kitai season in Tokyo:
Somehow Familiar Places
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Ebisu)
November 24 - January 27
Tosei-sha Gallery (Nakano)
November 29 - December 25
Kazuo Kitai Prints from “Resistance” to Current
Komiyama Shoten, 4th Floor (Kanda)
November 24 - December 25
Japan Exposures describes this book as a
“Gorgeous 2012 reworking of Issei Suda’s 1979 Fushikaden, long out of print and commanding high prices for what is essentially a poorly-printed book in often fair-to-middling condition. This edition, limited to 500 copies — each of which is signed by Suda and numbered — has been released on the occasion of the two-part Fall 2012 exhibition of the work in Tokyo.”
Japan Exposures also carries Suda’s Minyou Sanga, another fantastic series exploring Japan’s interaction with its folk past with the present (in this case the late 1970’s).
On my own shelves Japanese photobooks outnumber those by non-Japanese photographers roughly eight to one- this is THE Japanese photobook of the year. I am curious (and excited) to read what Microcord has to say about Fūshi kaden. ( I recommend his list of 10 Japanese Photobooks for ICP as well as his thoughts on the choices of other writers.)
For those of you in Tokyo, Fūshikaden can be seen in a two part exhibition at BLD Gallery in Ginza until December 28th, 2012.
Much of Hashiguchi’s work includes portrait photography, images that are accompanied by written transcriptions of a series of questions answered by his subjects. Working like a sociological ethnographer with a survey approach, he produces a unique overview, one that integrates the urban and rural, ranges of education and affluence. These themes are united by serious attention to the individual’s place in everyday Japanese contemporary life.
Richard Chalfen, PhD
“LOOKING AT JAPANESE SOCIETY: Hashiguchi George as Visual Sociologist” (2003)