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“elan photographic” at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Exhibition view Sohei Nishino's works in "elan photographic" at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Exhibition view Sohei Nishino’s works in “elan photographic” at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

I love the artist who is using photography as a new method of expression. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography was showing artworks by 5 emerging artists. Although they are all using photograph as a medium, their expressions were beyond our imagination and captured my eyes with excitement. By seeing their works, I felt like the works are questioning me about the experience of seeing.
"Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003" by Sohei Nishino

“Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003″ by Sohei Nishino

Detail of "Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003" by Sohei Nishino

Detail of “Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003″ by Sohei Nishino

Detail of "Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003" by Sohei Nishino

Detail of “Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003″ by Sohei Nishino

 

Sohei Nishino created a bird eye landscape by taking more than 3000 photographs for each city. These artworks are around 60×60 in (150x150cm) large so that you can see detail of every single image in the work. Some images are exterior?appearance?of famous sightseeing spot while others are picturing people’s face he met that area.
Making process video of Sohei Nishino

Making process video of Sohei Nishino

 

After taking all photographs, Nishino faces in front of a large white wood panel and starts to allocate each photograph by viewing a physical map, doubling it with a map in his mind. There was a video showing the process of his creation. It was interesting to see that he creates one zone of the map at a time, flies to another zone and connects each area in the end. Not spreading widely from one area where is covered first.

"Diorama Map Tokyo 2004" by Sohei Nishino

“Diorama Map Tokyo 2004″ by Sohei Nishino

Detail of "Diorama Map Tokyo 2004" by Sohei Nishino

Detail of “Diorama Map Tokyo 2004″ by Sohei Nishino

Sohei Nishio quoted as below;
‘Movement’ is always an important element in my ‘Diorama Map’ seires, I come into contact with the subjects while moving en route to a certain place, and it is through these physical experiences that the work is created. At the same time, by superimposing my own photographic activities on a map, it provides me with an opportunity to see the way in which I perceive the world that spreads out before me eyes.
"Meraportrait of 39 people floating lantens down the Motoyasu River in memory of atomic bomb victims on August 6th" by Ken Kitano, Hiroshima, Japan, 2004

“Meraportrait of 39 people floating lantens down the Motoyasu River in memory of atomic bomb victims on August 6th” by Ken Kitano, Hiroshima, Japan, 2004

 

Ken Kitano layered around 30 photographs of one categorized human being. The subject ranges from soldiers guarding Tian’anmen Square or girls cosplaying in anime costumes. You must have a image pops up into your mind when you imagine a typical categorized people. But when they are actually collected and layered in one piece, most of the details got blur except the face. It may be because when the one thinks and behave similar to another, their face will come to resemble each other, like husband and wife.

"Metaportrait of 24 soldiers guarding Tian'anmen Square" by Ken Kitano, Beijing China, May 2 2009

“Metaportrait of 24 soldiers guarding Tian’anmen Square” by Ken Kitano, Beijing China, May 2 2009

Close up of the work "Metaportrait of 24 soldiers guarding Tian'anmen Square" by Ken Kitano,

Close up of the work “Metaportrait of 24 soldiers guarding Tian’anmen Square” by Ken Kitano,

Kitano thinks a portrait is a apparatus by which we replace ourselves with others. It contains spontaneous possibilities allowing us to imagine the existence of ‘others’ as if it were ‘our own’ ?and should confront us like a mirror and ideally full size. That is why he printed this work in life size.

"Metaportrait of 34 girls cosplaying in anime costumes at a comike (comic market)" by Ken Kitano, Taipei Taiwan, April 18 2009.

“Metaportrait of 34 girls cosplaying in anime costumes at a comike (comic market)” by Ken Kitano, Taipei Taiwan, April 18 2009.

Large part of Maiko Haruki’s works are dominated by black or white. She takes photographs using extremes of over or under exposure to create this?mysterious sight.
Exhibition view Maiko Haruki's works in "elan photographic" at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Exhibition view Maiko Haruki’s works in “elan photographic” at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

"neither portrait nor landscape 2 2010" by Maiko Haruki.

“neither portrait nor landscape 2 2010″ by Maiko Haruki.

"either portrait or landscape 1B 2007" by Maiko Haruki, Courtesy of TARO NASU

“either portrait or landscape 1B 2007″ by Maiko Haruki, Courtesy of TARO
NASU

 

Looking carefully at the work, you will notice a shadow or body of a person captured inside. The word “portrait” is always included in Haruki’s title although it is difficult to see a human’s facial expression as a usual portrait. When I take photographs of my friend, I believe that it is a portrait of my friend. But it is ture? It was just one aspect cut off from my point of view.

"outer portrait 1 2009" by Maiko Haruki, Courtesy of TARO NASU

“outer portrait 1 2009″ by Maiko Haruki, Courtesy of TARO NASU

"inner portrait 2011" by Maiko Haruki.

“inner portrait 2011″ by Maiko Haruki.

Maiko Haruki quoted as below;
“I wonder what the attraction can be of looking at portraits of people completely unconnected with oneself. I think it must require a lot of ?courage to interpret a person’s being in one’s own way and crop it to present of somebody else entirely. Basically, what is refined within a photograph is only the subject’s outer form. Is it really possible to capture the inner being (of either the photographer or subject) in photograph? Mmm… it is strange. I don’t know the answer. This anguished ambiguity is what I try to photograph in my own way.”
Exhibition view Yoichi Sano's works in "elan photographic" at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Exhibition view Yoichi Sano’s works in “elan photographic” at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

 

Yoichi Sano’s photographs were floating in a darkish room. They were like I am trying to recall my old memory or my dream I saw last night. It was weird feeling for me that although I am facing in front of a photograph which usually provides a clear view, it was still blur no matter how long I see it.
"reservoir 2004-05" by Yoichi Sano

“reservoir 2004-05″ by Yoichi Sano

"vessel 2006-07" by Yoichi Sano.

“vessel 2006-07″ by Yoichi Sano.

 

Yoichi Sano quoted as below;
“I realize suddenly that the scene is now overflowing with exuberant light. This is always a momentary event, and I know that if I were to change my stance, even a little, I would lose sight of it. Above all it depends on my own sensations as the recipient and once a vision has gone, it is impossible to recreate the original impression.”
"55-04 2011"(left) and "55-09"(right) both by Kazuyuki Soeno.

“55-04 2011″(left) and “55-09″(right) both by Kazuyuki Soeno.

 

Kazuyuki Soeno was hovering life and death since he was injured in a traffic accident 15 years ago. When he awoke from his coma, he sensed a powerful light and he thought that being alive means to sense the light
"WI-11 2008" by Kazuyuki Soeno.

“WI-11 2008″ by Kazuyuki Soeno.

 

This “Photogram of Alcohol” series were created by directly placing a glass of drink on the negative holder in the head of the enlarger and the light projected through it to the paper to print. So it is not a microscopic photograph as it looks like. The drink ranges from the whiskey on the rock or bubbles in the beer which it is familiar with the artist himself.
"55-34 2011"(left) and "55-32 2011"(right) both by Kazuyuki Soeno.

“55-34 2011″(left) and “55-32 2011″(right) both by Kazuyuki Soeno.

 

Kazuyuki Soeno quote as below;
“I project a light onto things that are disappearing, intending to bring new life to the photographic paper, but after they have been dried, the prints lose their vitality.
All that is left are the dead remnants of light.”

Niwa Harumi, the curator of this exhibition, quoted as
“On March 11, 2011, reality surpassed anything that could be imagined. There must be many people for whom that day altered the meaning of photography irrevocably.
Why is that? One reason is that photography makes clear things that we tend to overlook in our daily lives, trivial things or feelings that we are unable to put into words, sensations that seem to slip away through our fingers even as we try to grasp them. The truth is, however, that it is these minuscule facts that generate and sustain our daily lives, our memories and consciousness. The medium that makes us aware of this fact is photography.”

Photograph is not a medium to cut out our visual life anymore, but to show us the ?”minuscule facts” happening here and there unconsciously. And I need artists to actually see it.

text and photo by Rasa Tsuda
Artists’ and curator’s quote from exhibition?catalogue?”elan photographic – Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.10″

Exhibition Info
Date: Dec 10, 2011 – Jan 29, 2012
Place:?Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Address: Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan

 

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