“Paris Photo 2019”
Paris Photo 2019 | Booth A11
Grand Palais | November 7 – 10, 2019
At Paris Photo 2019, Yumiko Chiba Associates is pleased to present a group presentation with Japanese prominent but still unseen photographers Shin Yanagisawa, Kazuo Kitai and a Paris-based Japanese photographer Yuki Onodera.
Besides they are from different generations, what made a bigger difference for these photographers is whether they started their profession before/after digital camera appeared. In Japan, digital cameras were announced to the public by Fuji Shashin Film Corporation in 1988 and were popularized, innovated continuously till the middle of the ‘90s. This new type of camera brought a release into photographs from "recording" which had been their original mission.
Yanagisawa and Kitai took photographs at the age of no choice of film or digital. Sticking to films, they took the glances at society and everyday lives surrounding them. For them photographs meant recording the age. While, Onodera challenges possibilities of photographic expression, treating photographs as media.
No similarity is found among each of the three photographer’s works. Yet, there is, at all times, a pursuit to express photographic concept and an attitude to present something new with a viewpoint to the future, not limited within that time, seeking a unique approach no one else has. And, whatever the theme of their works are, they are expressed in the eye from inside, looking at “everyday life” inherent in the subject.
Yanagisawa consistently kept saying from the time of his debut that no word is necessary for photographs. He explored taking photographs which could be established only by photographs, with no emotions and words by a photographer or a subject. Regardless of surrounding trend, he insisted on keeping the world facing him into film in his own way. Yanagisawa took photos of the scenery in Tokyo particularly showing Japan’s high-growth period in the 1960’s. As clearly seen in his series, Tracks of the City, he captured the big city with a unique and keen artistic sense. Those said photos are the most representative ones of his works.
In the ‘70s, many among Kitai’s contemporaries were taking photographs in Shinjuku and Shibuya (both located in Tokyo), concentrating on a big city. However, Kitai had a purpose to take photographs of rural life and scenery in Japan for his theme, which were being lost with economic growth at that time. He did not belong to any organizations or groups of photographers, had no teacher-student relationship with other photographers, but built up his career on his own.
Onodera also learned photography all by herself. In 1993 she moved to France. Since then she has liberated photography from its general concept despite the traditional way and has been boldly working on the possibility of new expression with boundless curiosity.
She sometimes works on her camera, and other times takes her subject by collage or from unexpected angle. She also uses computer or does hand-coloring for her practice. Thus, she locks in the subject to a screen through a machine called a camera, and finally develops the film by herself and completes a photograph work.
Yanagisawa participated in ‘Contemporary Japanese Photographies 1959’, held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo in 1960, as one of the leading 49 photographers in Japan. That was the first photography exhibition for public museums in Japan. Kitai won the first Kimura Ihei Award in 1975, the most influential award for new photographers presently in Japan. Onodera also received the Kimura Ihei Award in 2003, and earned the Niépce Prize in 2006, the most prestigious photography award in France for the first time for Japanese female photographer. Onodera’s most recent project will be unveiled in Paris Photo 2019.
Somehow Familiar Places, 1970
Gelatin Silver Print
Tracks of the City, 1960s
Gelatin Silver Print
Muybridge's Twist, No.22, 2019
charcoal, pastel, crayon, photography, collage on canvas
< Extra wall project – Small gallery show; Norio IMAI and Naruki OSHIMA >
White Landscape/Gion, 1973
Tableau/Bibemus: in front of a Painter's Cabin, 2018
Framed: 152.8 × 122.8 × 4cm