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Photographic Expression in Japan (2010) - Kotaro Iizawa, Photograpic Critic

The year 2010 did not see any especially major topics. As you will see, although
there was a wealth of photographic collections published and exhibitions held,
overall there does not appear to have been anything particularly worthy of note.
Rather, it may be the changes occurring in the environment surrounding
photography that deserved the most attention this year.
The iPad released by Apple is a portable terminal that can be taken anywhere,
and as such is beginning to be used widely as a tool for presenting photographic
works.
Various companies have also released electronic book readers, and channels are
gradually appearing for the publication of photographic collections as electronic
books in the future. It would seem that the conventional concept of photography
that is predicated on photographs being printed onto paper is being strongly
shaken.
Despite this, recently more and more art fairs focusing on the sale of photographic
works
have been actively held, including "TOKYO PHOTO 2010"; (academyhills40
in Roppongi Hills, September 17th to 21st) and the "Hiroo Art Photo Market";
(Instyle Photography Center, December 10th to 19th). Raising awareness of
photography as a form of art and expanding the market for photographic
works has been a major topic since the 1980s, and it seems that this movement
has finally taken a foothold.
That is to say, within the two tidal currents of digitalization and artification,
surely the position of photography is being shaken. The outcome of this trend
cannot be known within the short time span of one or two years and needs to
be viewed with a slightly more long-term perspective.

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Main Photographic Awards

The 35th Kimura Ihei Commemorative Photography Award was won
by Cozue Takagi for her photographic collections "MID";and "GROUND";
(both published by Akaaka Art Publishing). Born in 1985, this young photo
grapher has been highly praised for her ambitious approach of changing her style
dramatically for each of her works and is a phenomenon on whose shoulders
the future of Japanese photographic expression can be said to rest.
With Cozue Takagi';s win, Akaaka Art Publishing also achieved the distinction
of having published the winning photographic collection for the Kimura Ihei
Award for the third consecutive year, following on from Lieko Shiga
and Atsushi Okada in 2008 and Masashi Asada in 2009.
Moreover, for the past 10 or so years the Kimura Ihei Commemorative
Photogra-phy Award has been decided by a panel of judges comprising
Shinya Fujiwara, Kishin Shinoyama, Hiromi Tsuchida, and Kyoichi Tsuzuki,
and following the announcement of the award winner it was decided to implement
a new judging system. The new judging panel will comprise Mitsuaki Iwago,
Masato Seto, and Ryudai Takano. Eyes will now be on how this award,
which seems to have stagnated a little recently, changes in the future.
The 29th Domon Ken Award was won by Ryuichiro Suzuki for his photographic
collection "RyUlysses";(published by Heibonsha Limited, Publishers).
Ryuichiro Suzuki is a photographer who has published works that dig deeply
into the world within since the 1960s, but until now the spotlight has not
particularly shone on his work. Capturing Suzuki';s travels in Ireland
with a panorama camera,
"RyUlysses";can be said to be a highly suitable choice for the Domon Ken Award,
being a documentary-style work compiled step-by-step by a veteran photographer.
In the Photographic Society of Japan Awards, the Distinguished Contributions
Award was won by Tsuguo Tada, the late Osam Hiraki, and Mayumi Moriyama;
the Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Yukio Ohyama, Keizo Kitajima,
and Yoshihiro Tatsuki; the Scholastic Award was won by Keisho Ishiguro
and Ryuichi Kaneko; and the Newcomer';s Award was won by Keiko Sasaoka
and Aya Fujioka. Deserving of particular attention are the two Newcomer';s
Award winners. Both Keiko Sasaoka';s "Park City";(published by Inscript Inc.)
which captures her home town of Hiroshima, centering on Peace Memorial Park
and Fujioka';s "I Don';t Sleep";(published by Akaaka Art Publishing) which
captures daily family life from unique angles"are works that are strongly imprinted
with their creators'; growth as photographers and these two can be expected to
make even greater leaps forward in the future.
The Ina Nobuo Award, which is presented to the photographer whose exhibition
is judged to be the most outstanding exhibition held in a Nikon Salon during the year,
was won by Hitoshi Fugo for his "On the circle"; exhibition, which deftly shifts back
and forth between fiction and reality.
The Miki Jun Award, which is presented for the best photography exhibition at
the Nikon Salon by a new photographer, was won by Shingo Kanagawa';s unique
photographic documentary following his father who repeatedly disappears without
a trace, entitled "father";.
In the Photo City Sagamihara Awards, the Sagami-hara Photo Award was won
by Naoki Ishikawa for "ARCHIPERAGO";(published by Shueisha Inc.)
and the Newcomer';s Award was won by Masumi Kura for "kura";
(published by Sokyusha) and Manabu Someya for "Nirai";(published by Tosei-sha).
In the Higashikawa Prizes, the Domestic Photographer Award was won
by Keizo Kitajima; the New Photographer Award was won
by Osamu James Nakagawa, who resides in the United States;
and the Special Photographer Award was won by Yoshihiro Hagiwara.
The Hidano Kazuuemon Award, which is presented to a photographer who
has continued to photograph local nature and people over many years, was won
by the late Ichiro Kojima, who was based in Aomori Prefecture and continued over
many years to photograph the landscape of northern Japan.
Known as the gateway to success for photographers just starting out, the
New Cosmos of Photography";Grand Prize for 2010 was won by Karen Sato
for her work A cast-off skin";as the selection jury welcomed new members
Katsumi Omori, Mika Ninagawa, Masafumi Sanai, Minoru Shizumi,
and Noi Sawaragi.
The 8th Visual Arts Photo Award"which aims to publish the winner';s
photographic collection" was won by Eiko Shimozono for her work ";Kizuna";
("Emotional Ties";), a tour de force of portraits depicting people standing on
the borderline between light and dark.

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Photographic Exhibitions
Japanese art museums began to create photography sections and expand their
collection and display of photographic works in the latter half of the 1980s.
Over the more than 20 years that have passed since then, not only have
photographic collections been enlarged and enriched, but also curators';
attitudes towards photographic displays have also become firmer.
I feel that there has been an increase in ambitious exhibitions in 2010,
too, that are the culmination of well-orchestrated planning, including
at newly established art museums.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography made an excellent
showing with consecutive exhibitions centering on the works of
contemporary photographers: Yasumasa Morimura';s "A Requiem:
Art on Top of the Battlefield";(March 11th to May 9th; also touring
the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art and the Hiroshima City Museum
of Contemporary Art); Seiichi Furuya';s "Mémoires";(May 15th to
July 19th); Yuki Onodera';s "Into the Labyrinth of Photography";
(July 27th to September 26th); and the AIDS-themed "Love's body " art
in the age of AIDS";, which featured the works of several photographers
(October 2nd to December 5th). Each of these exhibition plan';s tested
the curator';s caliber, but I think that in each case the display space was
used effectively to create quality exhibitions. Although mobilizing
audiences for modern photography exhibitions is difficult, expectations
can be held for future endeavors in the sense that they express the
directionality of art museums. Other excellent projects that redefined the
" now";of photographic expression were the "William Eggleston:
Paris-Kyoto";exhibition (Hara Museum of Contemporary Art ;
June 5th to August 22nd) and "Darknesses for Light: Czech Photography
Today";exhibition (Shiseido Gallery; June 19th to August 8th).
Since opening in 2009, the IZU PHOTO MUSEUM has been
presenting one ambitious exhibition after another.
In the "SUSPENDING TIME: Life-Photography-Death";exhibition
(April 3rd to August 20th), under the curation of American photographic
historian Geoffrey Batchen, the theme of "death portraits";that have
been taken by unknown photographers since the 19th century was
presented. The "vernacular";photography style emphasized by Batchen is
strongly apparent in this exhibition. Following this the museum held
Yuki Kimura';s "Untitled";exhibition (September 5th, 2010
to January 11th, 2011), which was an installation exhibition by
a modern artist featuring combinations of photographs and objects.
Several retrospective exhibitions by photographers whose work has
already received high praise were also held in 2010. In this style of
exhibition, it is necessary to fulfill audience expectations of viewing
representative works while at the same time presenting another angle
to the photographer';s work, and many of the exhibitions held in 2010
successfully achieved this. Among these were the "Ikko Narahara:
The Sky in My Hands 1954-2004";(Shimane Art Museum; July 30th
to September 13th); "Yasuhiro Ishimoto Photography Exhibition";
(Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito; October 9th
to November 7th); "Maternal Deities: Yasuo Higa Exhibition";
(Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum; November 2nd,
2010 to January 5th, 2011); and the "SHOJI UEDA: La Photographie
et Moi";exhibition tour, which kicked off with the Museum [Eki] KYOTO
exhibition (May 21st to June 13th). The "SHADOWS: Works from
the National Museums of Art";exhibition (The National Art Center,
Tokyo; September 8th to October 18th) was a joint project organized
by five national art museums" The National Museum of Modern Art,
Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; National Museum of Art,
Osaka; National Museum of Western Art; and National Art Center,
Tokyo"for which each museum selected shadow-themed painting,
photographs, and sculptures from their collections in storage.
I believe that such themed exhibitions that combine collections
from multiple museums could be even more actively considered.
One of the most successful art museum photography exhibitions
of 2010 was undoubtedly the "Suzuki Kiyoshi: Hundred Steps
and Thousand Stories"; exhibition (National Museum of Modern Art,
Tokyo; October 29th to December 19th). The exhibition featured
representative works selected from the eight photographic collections
that Suzuki published during his lifetime and included handmade
dummy photo books and photographic exhibition plans, strongly reminding
viewers of and impressing them with the power and abundance
of the artistic world of this "genius too soon";. The realization
of this excellent exhibition in the 10th year after Suzuki';s death is
deeply meaningful, and expectations are held for further research
and study of his posthumous work in the future. Coinciding with
the exhibition, Hakusuisha Publishing Co., Ltd. also published
a reprinted edition of Suzuki';s first photographic collection
" Soul and Soul";(self-published; 1972).
Numerous high-quality photographic exhibitions were also held
by manufacturer-connected galleries such as the Nikon Salon,
Canon Gallery, and Konica Minolta Plaza, as well as galleries
specializing in photography such as the Zeit-Foto Salon
and Photo Gallery International. However, what has become
conspicuous recently is the growing interest in photographic works
displayed by contemporary art galleries. Galleries such as
the Taka Ishii Gallery, ShugoArts TARO NASU, RAT HOLE
GALLERY, and MEM"which recently moved from Osaka to Tokyo
" frequently held exhibitions featuring the works of modern photographers.
Both Ryuji Miyamoto';s "1975-2010 Film & amp; Digital";
exhibition (September 10th to October 9th) and Taiji Matsue';s
" Survey of Time";exhibition (October 23rd to November 20th),
which were held at TARO NASU, probe new directions
by incorporating moving image works. Two exhibitions
by Nobuyoshi Araki""Koki No Shashin : Photographs of A Seventy
Year Old";(Taka Ishii Gallery; May 8th to June 6th) and "Sentimental
Journey, Spring Journey";(RAT HOLE GALLERY; June 11th
to July 18th)"and Daido Moriyama';s "Inagaki district,
Tsugaru City, 1960";(Taka Ishii Gallery; November 27th
to December 18th) graphically demonstrated the boundless strength
of these photographers as expressionists.
Galleries rented and operated directly by photographers for holding
their own exhibitions also showed vigorous activity in 2010.
In addition to existing galleries such as the photographers'; gallery,
Totem Pole Photo Gallery, and Third District Gallery, several new
galleries opened in Tokyo during 2010, including the M2 Gallery
(located next to PLASCE M), GALLERY SHUHARI, GALLERY
Kaido-Ribbon, and Broiler Space. Other galleries, such as
Gallery10:06 and 423GALLERY in Osaka and Asia Photographers';
Gallery in Fukuoka undertook independent activities.
Especially energetic was Chambre Claire, a concept gallery in Yotsuya,
Tokyo, which is operating for a limited two-year period, beginning
in April 2009. In addition to exhibitions by the four gallery members
Masanori Hata, Mikoto Toya, Yoshikazu Miki, and Minami Onodera,
the gallery held energy-filled photographic exhibitions featuring the works
of Seiko Watanabe, Masaru Eguchi, and Naoto Furuta. The Chambre
Claire gallery also held a joint exhibition with another independently
operated gallery, the TAP GALLERY (comprising Toshiya Murakoshi,
Yosuke Minato, Akihiko Saito, Gen Sakuma, and Kaori Yoshihara) in
Kiyosumishirakawa from December 14th to 26th and published
a photographic collection entitled "A x T Press";


Publication of Photographic Collections

Over the past few years, Akaakasha has become a leader in the publication of
photographic collections, and this momentum continued in FY2009. Shinryo Saeki's collection, "Greetings", is a photographic series developed over nearly ten years
following the photographer's debut in 2001, when he was awarded the New Cosmos of Photography Grand Prize. The viewer's eyes are drawn to the work's immense
expressiveness backed by a bright sense of impermanence typical of Mr. Saeki,
who is a certified Shingon Buddhist priest.
Two photographic collections by Kozue Takagi, "MID" and "GROUND", project a
sense of the photographer's ability already to create large-scale works, despite her
youth (she was born in 1985). However, of the photographic collections published
by Akaakasha in 2009, Aya Fujioka's "I Don't Sleep" left the strongest impression.Centering on family photographs taken in the photographer's home town of Kure
City in Hiroshima, the collection presents captures the bizarre texture of raw human behavior, projecting an impact power that hits you so vividly you wince reflexively.
Akaakasha also published two photographic collections intended as reviews of
Japan's modern photographic history: "Yasuzo Nojima Photographic Collection"
and "Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s". The latter is a particularly
important publication that will provide basic material for future photographic
research, presenting as it does a collection of photographs selected from the
library of Ryuichi Kaneko (one of the world's foremost collectors, possessing
more than 20,000 photobooks) accompanied by detailed explanatory notes and
data. There is also tremendous interest amongst overseas photographic enthusiasts
in photographic collections from this era, which could be called the "Golden Age"
of Japanese photobooks, and English and French editions of "Japanese Photobooks
of the 1960s and 70s" were published at the same time. The year 2009 was also a
year in which this movement to reevaluate and reconstruct Japan's modern
photographic history became clearly visible. Another work that could be described
as invaluable was "KOJIMA Ichiro SHASHIN SHUSEI" (Inscript) that shines the
spotlight on Ichiro Kojima, who shot high-contrast images of the northern lands and the people who live there during the 1950s and 1960s. Similarly, "Photographers'
Gallery Press No.8: Kenzo Tamoto" (Photographers' Gallery) -- which records
some 496 images centering on the "pioneering photographs" of Kenzo Tamoto,
who was active in Hakodate, Hokkaido, during the late Edo Era and the Meiji
Era -- was also an excellent project presenting a comprehensive picture of the half-forgotten "Northern Giants".
Various other high-quality photographic collections were also published in quick
succession. From the perspective of photobook publication, the year 2009 was
surely a most fruitful year. Ryudai Takanori's "Otoko-no-Nori-kata (How to
contact a man)" (Akio Nagasawa Publishing) is the culmination of a series of
photographs portraying male nudity by a brilliant photographer who has been
actively holding exhibitions of late and was the recipient of the 31st Ihei Kimura
Award. His approach of staring straight at the men's bodies and, moreover,
meticulously rendering body details is something that surely has rarely been taken
before. His work could also be called the discovery of a new beauty and eroticism.
The same publisher also published two photographic collections, monochrome and
color, of the woks of Toshio Shibata: "A View" and "For Grey". The printing in
both these works is highly precise, making them especially impressive collections.
Masayuki Yoshinaga's "Group Portraits of Japan" (Little More Books) is a work
of exertion wrapping up a series of photographs of various groups of Japanese
people in the form of commemorative photographs taken by Mr. Yoshinaga over
these past 10 or so years.
From biker gangs and nightclub hostesses to the staff of the Yokohama Museum
of Art, the groups of people depicted in these photographs can be said to be direct
microcosms of modern Japanese society. "House" (Foil), by Ichiro Ogata and Yu
Ogata, was also a documentary work presenting a unique perspective. Comprising
six sections --"Namibia: Internal Sand Dunes", "China: Western-Style Village"
"Greece: Dovecotes", "Okinawa: Constructivism", "Mexico: Ultra-Baroque", and
"Japan: Samurai Baroque" -- the collection seeks to uncover form of pathos
and creativity contained within architectural structures.
Published posthumously, Yoshiko Seino's "Everywhere/Gather Yourself/Stand"
(Osiris) was another photographic collection that lingers in the heart. Although the
photographs depict unexceptional, everyday scenes, images enter the eye at a
borderline distance, the scenes suffused with a bizarre sense of tension that makes
the viewer want to throw the images back. For her photographic collection "PARK
CITY" (Inscript), Keiko Sasaoka turned her camera onto the area around Peace
Memorial Park in the center of Hiroshima, where she grew up. This collection of
images in which the major part of the image has been obscured by a patch of dark
shadow can be seen as an attempt by a member of the young generation born in
1978 to carry on the memory of "Hiroshima".
Amongst photographic collections by mid-career and veteran photographers, Hiromi Nagakura's "Crossing the Earth" and Kishin Shinoyama's "NUDE BY KISHIN"
(Asahi Press) drew attention. The former is the culmination of the work of a
documentary photographer regarded as being at the peak of his prime, ranging from the 1980s up to the present. The photographer's strongly felt mission to convey to
readers the positive message of his own experiences is apparent throughout the
collection. The latter is a tour de force that brings together all the nude works of
the photographer, which could be called his life's work since the 1960s, and
overflows throughout with the message of the praise of life. However, due to the
inclusion of photographs depicting nude models in the street in his latest work,
"20XX TOKYO" (Asahi Press), which was published around the same time
as "NUDE BY KISHIN", in November Mr. Shinoyama's office was searched
(and the case subsequently sent to the public prosecutor's office) on suspicion
of public indecency. That the photographing of nudity in the streets could become
more difficult when it was rarely treated as a problem previously can be seen as an
expression of the siege mentality and insecurity shrouding society as a whole.

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Publications of Photographic Collections and Books

In addition to the impact of the prolonged downturn in the publishing industry,
there has also been a trend towards the digitalization of books, and so it appears
that publication of photographic collections and photography-related books
has not necessarily been active. However, the desire of photographers
to have their work published is quite high, and almost seems as if there
has actually been an increase in the number of photographic collections
being published, including self-published works. In response, bookstores
(especially large bookstores) are gradually expanding their photographic
collection and photography-related book sections.
In the past few years, Akaaka Art Publishing has been the leader in
photographic collection publication. In 2010, too, Akaaka Art Publishing
published one excellent photographic collection after the other,
including Yurie Nakajima';s "Swiss";, whose cover featured 20
color variations; Masashi Asada';s "New Life";, which was the first
of his photographic collections to be published following his winning
the Kimura Ihei Commemorative Photography Award; a photographic
travelogue of Ireland, "Storm Last Night"; by Nao Tsuda (winner of
the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Art Encouragement Prize';s New Artist Award); Seiji Shibuya';s powerful
" Dance";, which examines the boundary between life and death;
and Yu Yamauchi';s "Yoake ("Sunrise";) ";, which comprises a series
of photographs of the sunrise taken from a hut atop Mt. Fuji. In addition,
"Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape";,
for which Jonathan Torgovnik provided both the photographs and text,
was heart-piercing documentary photographic collection comprising
portraits and testimony of victims of Rwanda';s civil war.
In addition, photographic collections by young photographers that stood
out included Naoki Ishikawa';s "Corona";(Seidosha, Inc.),
Mika Ninagawa';s "Noir"; (Kawade Shobo Shinsha); Satoshi Nagare';s
" Mind Encode";(Hatori Press, Inc.); Naoki Honjo';s "Treasure Box";
(Kodansha Ltd.); Kayo Ume';s "Umep";(Little More Co., Ltd.);
and Shoin Kajii';s "Kawa";(Foil Co., Ltd.). The collection that generated
the greatest buzz was Kayo Ume';s latest photographic collection, "Umep";,
which gained broad popularity with its languorous snap photographs,
and the "Umep";exhibition held at Omotesando Hills Space O drew many
visitors. Mika Ninagawa is extremely well known, and she is launching
herself on the international stage, too, with the publication by US publisher
Rizzoli of her more than 300-page "Mika Ninagawa";photographic
collection, featuring her representative works, in addition the publication
of her latest work, "Noir";. Emi Fukuyama';s "The Moon, Following Me";
(Tosei-Sha) and Setsuko Hayashida';s "Searching for the Forest";
(Rocket Books) were another two photographic collections that leave
a lasting impression. Although the two collections have different styles
" private views cut into 6 x 6 cm monochrome pictures ("The Moon,
Following Me";) and a photo story of a friend's family following the
seasons in Finland ("Searching for the Forest";), but each attempts
to pursue its theme within a close-knit framework.
Mid-career and veteran photographers also published powerful
photographic collections in 2010. Nobuyoshi Araki';s "Chiro, Love&Death";
(Kawade Shobo Shinsha) documents the final days of the beloved cat that was
part of the Araki family for 22 years. Winner of the 2009 Ina Nobuo Award,
Junichi Ota';s photographic collection "Father';s Diary";(Brain Center Inc.)
was also published. Matter-of-factly presenting the pages of the notebook
diary kept by Ota';s father for 20 years until just before his death at the age of 87,
this photographic series is a requiem condensed with memories.
Shunji Dodo';s "Osaka";(Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc.) is another powerful
work that was photographed over a long period of time. In this photographic
collection, the city and people of Osaka"Dodo';s hometown and now also
workplace"are portrayed in lively large 8 x 10 inch photographs. Michio Yamauchi,
who has continuously taken snapshots of street scenes, published "Keelung";
(Grafica Inc.), which vividly depicts the port towns of Taiwan with an unwavering gaze.
The fantastical landscape photographic collection "The Garden of Blind Gold";
(Iwanami Shoten) created by the poet Gozo Yoshimasu using the multiple-exposure
technique was another photographic collection that left an indelible impression.
Manabu Miyazaki';s "Deep Nature Photo Book";(Shinjusha) examines an ecosystem
that is changing dramatically due to environmental destruction from the unique
perspective of the Asiatic black bears that are now coming out of the forests
and coming near human dwellings.
However, the photographic collection published in 2010 that probably most
deserves a special mention was the nine-volume series "Okinawan Photographer';s
Series: Ryukyu Retsuzo";published by Miraisha. With Isao Nakazato
and Shino Kuraishi acting as editorial supervisors, this photographic
collection series first of all published Volume 4 (Hiroaki Oshiro';s
" Village off the Map";and Volume 9 (Shomei Tomatsu';s "Camp Okinawa";),
and volumes featuring the works of Minoru Yamada, Yasuo Higa, Takashi Ishimine,
Mao Ishikawa, Tatsuhiko Kano, Katsu Moriguchi, and Takuma Nakahira are
planned for future publication. In addition to having major political problems,
Okinawa is one of the most important areas of Asia in terms of the culture
of East Asia, including the Japanese Archipelago. Including the works
of photographers born and raised in Okinawa with works by photographers
such as Tomatsu and Nakahira who have visited Okinawa from "the mainland";
to photograph Okinawa, should ensure that a literally definitive "Okinawan
photographers'; series";takes shape. In the past, Miraisha has also undertaken
publishing activities that express a deep interest in Okinawa. As an extension
of these activities, I think the realization of a large-scale project such as this is
truly wonderful.
In 2010, publication of photographic commentaries was also more conspicuous
than in previous years. Such publications included Shino Kuraishi';s "Snapshot:
Brilliance of Photography";(Taishukan Publishing Co., Ltd.); Kotaro Iizawa';s
" Era of Girls'; Photography";(NTT Publishing Co., Ltd.); Osam Hiraki';s
"Heart of Photography";(Heibonsha Limited, Publishers); Naoya Hatakeyama';s
" Talking Photographs: Towards the Invisible";(Shogakukan Inc.); Koji Ise';s
" Solitude of Photography";(Seikyusha), "The Photograph as Contemporary Art";
(Shobunsha) by Charlotte Cotton and translated by Etsuko Ohashi and Michiko Oki;
and "Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography";by Geoffrey Batchen
and translated by Osamu Maekawa, Morihiro Satow, and Akihisa Iwaki.
It can be said that the conspicuous trend towards reiterating the question,
" What is photography" ";is a manifestation of the increasingly unstable
situation concerning photography. Expectations are held that both the number
of photographic commentary authors and readers will further increase in the future.

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Overseas and Other Activities

During 2010 there were few reports about the overseas activities of Japanese
photographers, perhaps the only news was that Ken Kitano held an exhibition
entitled "Our Face";in Beijing, China (Three Shadows Photography Art Centre;
May 1st to August 10th), and that the photographic collection "Japanese
Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s";(Akaaka Art Publishing/Aperture
Foundation, edited by Ryuichi Kaneko and Ivan Vartanian, won the Historical
Book Award at the Les Rencontres d';Arles (The International Photography
Festival) in France.
With the increase in regional invigoration, there has also been an increase
in the attention paid to events related to photography. The "Month of Photography,
Osaka";, which is held every year from May to June in parallel with the
"Month of Photography, Tokyo";; the "Kurashiki Photomural";, in which
Kurashiki City';s business district is decorated with huge cloth prints; and the
" How Are You PHOTOGRAPHY" ";exhibition, which is held each December
by galleries in Kyoto and focuses mainly on photographers residing in Kyoto
have all become firmly established events as they are held year after year.
Despite the fact that information unavoidably tends to concentrate on Tokyo,
thoroughly following up on the spread of the base for photographic expression
will surely become increasingly important in the future.
The following are significant contributors to the photographic world who
passed away during 2010. May they rest in peace: Hideki Fujii (photographer,
aged 75, May 2nd), Eiichi Kurasawa (nature photographer, aged 49, July 21st),
Akihisa Okuda (Editor-in-chief, Asahi Camera, aged 52,
October 2nd), Seizo Takada (photographer, aged 81, October 2nd),
Takashi Oyama (photographer, aged 49, December 4th), and Motoichi Kumagai
(photographer, aged 101, December 6th).



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