Photobook fair at VACANT, Harajuku
Photographer: John Bauer / instagram
Leica M6 with 35mm f1.4 Summilux Asph. lens
Outside Mitsubado Camera, Nippori
Leica M6 with Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Nokton lens
Leica M6TTL Japan Edition with black paint 35mm f2 Summicron Aspherical lens
Leica M6TTL with 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-M
Leica M6 with 35mm f2 Summicron V4 lens
OCO Gallery, Yoyogi-hachiman
Pentax 67II with 75mm f2.8 lens
OCO Gallery, Yoyogi-hachiman
Leica M5 with 35mm f2.8 Summaron lens
Seen: 平成和紺名紋帳展 Heisei Konnamon Chouten
Where: OCO Gallery, Tokyo
When: October 13-21, 2018 (12:00-19:00 / 最終日17:00 close)
Graphic designer Ikki Kobayashi and calligraphist Kazuki Kamamura recently collaborated on a clever and beautiful project that draws from Japanese visual traditions.
Kobayashi’s sly mon emblems pull distinctly modern motifs rooted in the Heisei era in which both artists were born and raised. Close inspection reveals multiple foodstuffs, toys- even schoolgirl braids- while some items are readily identifiable others – such as kanpyo-maki rolls – are presented in a way where the form overwhelms the content. Deciphering the designs part of the fun.
Kamamura’s calligraphy compliments the images with wild stokes expressing thoughts, puns, and manga-like sound effects for each picture.
The show centered on the newly offset-published and hand-(japanese thread )bound book which two created. Kobayashi’s original drawings were pinned on one wall, while Kamamura’s original writing was on another. The project takes itself just serious enough to be well considered and finely executed- but light enough to be enjoyed by anyone who sees it.
Normally I use this space to share Tokyo’s many photography exhibitions but I admire anyone who commits to working with materials as basic as ink on paper. Similar to exposing light onto film this is a medium of suddenness and permanence- one that demands of the artist trust in the nature of the materials and confidence in the possibility that what can be created is worth the risk.
Yodobashi Camera, Shinjuku
Black paint Canon AE-1 with 50mm f1.8 lens
On The Street 2 is the second edition in photographer Yuta Fuchikami’s growing collection of Tokyo street portraits. A member of the artist run space Totem Pole Photo Gallery in Shinjuku, his methods are simple- he shoots with a well worn Pentax 67 medium format camera with the standard 105mm lens and Kodak black and white film. The negatives he then prints in a traditional darkroom.
His subjects- people he encounters on the streets of Tokyo- offer a glimpse of vulnerability which Fuchikami meets with a grace which many might not normally receive. The skill with which this young photographer is able to direct his subjects with is impressive. The pictures are respectfully shot, often beautifully composed, and naturally lit. I have a feeling that each person pictured would feel proud of what they see. You can see further examples of his work on his website: fuchikamiyuta.com
The quality of On The Street has likely earned Fuchikami a seat at the table of Tokyo’s great street portraitists- his work is in conversation with that by photographers such Issei Suda, Hiroh Kikai, and Shinya Arimoto. Those interested in solid street portraits in the vein of Arimoto will no doubt be pleased with this book.
Blacked-out Olympus Pen EE2
Olympus OM-1 with 35mm f2 lens
Photographer: Mitsuru Sato / prev. on TCS
Who: 村越としや Toshiya Murakoshi
Where: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film, Roppongi, Tokyo
When: October 6 – November 10, 2018
Murakoshi’s latest show at Taka Ishii Gallery is a collection of meticulously shot and printed photographs of Fukushima prefecture. Upon first impression I was sure that they were made with either 4×5 or even 8×10 camera- the photographer told me that he shot everything with a Mamiya RZ67 camera on Kodak T-max 100 film. The digital sample snaps above do not do the work justice- the amount of detail and tonal quality inherent to his methods grant the work a visual and emotional quality that can only be appreciated best through experiencing the prints in person.