All posts tagged: tokyo

Francesca Allen portrays the intimacy of female friendship

“There’s not enough journalism about female friendships, they’re not given the same credit as romantic relationships, but I actually think they can be so much stronger,” says London-based photographer Francesca Allen, who spent a month in Tokyo last spring photographing the subject of her new book, Aya, a Japanese musician and now Allen’s good friend.

The pair first met in 2016, during Allen’s two week vacation to Japan. Allen, whose work often centres on womanhood and sexual freedom and is regularly featured in publications such as Ripose and The Fader, used part of her time on holiday to photograph Japanese girls. Looking across her selection of images, she felt so drawn to the photographs of Aya that the following year, she arranged to go back and make a book with her.

2018-09-04T14:20:03+00:00

Ryo Minemizu’s Jewels in the Night Sea

“Plankton are intriguing and beautiful creatures,” says Japanese photographer Ryo Minemizu. “They symbolise how precious life is by their tiny existence.”

He’s been shooting plankton for 20 years, spending between two and eight hours underwater everyday recording the tiny creatures, which can be plants, animals, or other types of organism. Drifting in the ocean, unable to swim against the current, plankton are the most abundant life form on earth after bacteria, but measuring 2mm-40mm in size, are invisible to the naked eye. Minemizu has registered his own technique to photograph them, which he’s called Black Water Dive, and which involves setting a stage underwater using flashes and other forms of lighting.

2018-09-07T14:08:28+00:00

Arles 2017: Hannah Watson’s top five

No matter how hard you try, sometimes Arles can be just like Glastonbury (sans mud) – lots of things going on and you get sidetracked, and don’t get to see the one thing you wanted to. However I did manage to get round a diverse group of exhibits this year, one of my favourites actually being the Alice Neel painting show at the Fondation Van Gogh. Here is my round-up of what I saw of note this edition. The House of the Ballenesque, Roger Ballen This was very talked about in Arles – an old ramshackle house that Ballen has taken over, to express somewhat of what goes on in his mind and informs his photography. Like a giant walk-in sketchbook, it’s part fun-house and part mental asylum, with lots of creepy figures and dolls heads stuck on mismatching bodies. It’s worth seeing because it’s a bit different, though it doesn’t quite feel like the main event – it’s more of a fun sideshow to his practice, but interesting nonetheless. Try to go on a …

2017-07-24T10:27:18+00:00

Book: Lotus by Max Pinckers and Quinten De Bruyn

The Homeric idea of the lotus has endured and today it still represents something that is sweet and addictive, capable of inducing a dreamy forgetfulness and a gentle sense of complacency. Lotus, the new photography book by Max Pinckers in collaboration with Quinten De Bruyn, sets out to question just these tempting qualities.

2017-07-17T11:07:30+00:00

Show: Ina Jang’s Utopia

“When I started researching the pornographic visuals, it hit me that there’s a clear formula in the way women are portrayed in them,” says Ina Jang. “I printed out some of the images, cut out the body figures and photographed them. From there, I kept making images with similar positions.”

2017-06-28T14:49:57+00:00

Svetlana Shutkina: the photography novice learning from Magnum experts

Earlier this year, Magnum Photos collaborated with The Nippon Photography Institute to hold international workshops for promising young photographers, in partnership with the BJP. The workshop were led by three leading Magnum photographers, each of whom have produced a book in Tokyo at points of their career: Bruce Gilden (Go), Jacob Aue Sobol (I, Tokyo), and Gueorgui Pinkhassov (Sightwalk). Russian amateur photographer Svetlana Shutkina was selected from the attendees for the Fuji Camera Award, winning a Fujifilm X100T camera . Pinkhassov, whose 1996 series collected stolen moments of everyday Tokyo life, said that selecting a winner was a tough task, but Shutkina’s work and unique story was too good to ignore. “Svetlana’s case is a special one,” he says, “[as] a native of Chabarovsk she resides in Tokyo. Initially Svetlana hesitated to join because she could not speak English and was a complete novice in photography… [but] the more professional a photographer, the less flexible she/he is.” For Pinkhassov, a Magnum member since 1991, the secret lies in “letting go and letting an image come …

2015-08-25T11:33:46+00:00

The re-enactments of Aboriginal history that won the Tokyo International Photography Competition

A series that includes portrait ‘re-enactments’ of archival images of Aboriginal people has won this year’s Tokyo International Photography Competition (TIPC). The Wake: Re-enacting the Spencer & Gillen photographic archive by Danish photographer Christian Vium was selected from eight shortlisted entries to be awarded the Grand Prix. Vium, who is a photographer, filmmaker and anthropologist, made his winning work in Central Australia between May and June 2014. His aim, he explains, was to creatively respond to the photographic archives of anthropologists and photographers Frank Gillen and Baldwin Spencer, who produced a comprehensive record of aboriginal life between 1875 and 1912. At the time, Vium had been researching the Spencer & Gillen archives at the Victoria Museum in Melbourne via the online digitised collection, www.spencerandgillen.net. “I wanted to revisit their cardinal work and use it as a point of departure for a contemporary dialogue about how we see and represent ‘the Other’,” says Vium in a statement about his work. “I went into the field with a selection of photographs divided into three categories: the portrait, the …

2015-08-13T10:26:33+00:00

Reimagining Japan’s history through the lens

In Japan, years are counted the Western way as a linear progression starting from year 1, but they are also counted as a series of periods relating to whichever Emperor is in power. 2014 was also the 26th year of the Heisei period, for example; the last period, Showa, lasted 64 years until 1989. Kazuyoshi Usui’s series, Showa88, depicts an alternative universe in which the Emperor kept going – extending a difficult but vibrant era. “Japan now is said to be suffering from a long stagnation but there is very little hardship here,” he says. “But although there is no physical deprivation, there may be psychological deprivation. Maybe people are living like characters from Orwell’s 1984, by destroying or suppressing their emotions — like company workers who never express their true emotions or desires. “In the Showa era there was hardship and poverty, but I sense the power of the urge for survival. Violence, vice and poverty are hard, but they do reveal humanity. Japan today tries to eliminate these negative things, but in the process it …

2015-08-06T12:30:12+00:00

Taro Karibe: “Any desire can be satisfied in Tokyo”

“I gave Taro the prize because he was honest,” says the Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol of the Japanese photographer Taro Karibe. “Working as a salary man, but longing so much to explore the core of his existence. Karibe came top in a Tokyo workshop with Sobol, run by the Magnum Photos agency for his image exploration of Tokyo, both a “utopia, where any desire can be satisfied, and a dystopia, filled with something threatening.” Karibe says. “Instead of focusing on the great photograph and looking for tricks to improve, he started a search within himself – using the camera as a tool to express his own inner life,” Sobol says. “He started taking pictures to ask questions instead of trying to give answers. He put himself at stake and invited myself and the other students into his private universe. “And he did it with soreness and honesty at the expense of the magnificent.” Taro speaks to BJP about his Magnum workshop: Why did you decide to sign up to the Magnum workshop? I had realized I had some limitations with …

2015-05-12T13:15:29+00:00

BJP Staff