“Our mind is enriched by what we receive, our heart by what we give.”
~ Victor Hugo
“ How can you talk about photography without talking about desire?” Hervé Guibert, L’Image fantôme. Photography expanded its scope to space and in volume in the 1960s (a development which then sped up during the 1970s).
This evolution gives metaphorical proof of the importance that contemporary art has acquired in the development of photography. Approche puts forward the hypothesis-and even bets on the idea that photography has an articulate and autonomous body whose two feet are firmly anchored to the contemporary scene. Moreover, the exploratory dimension of photography (as it has been written during its protohistory) has paved the way for certain contemporary artistic expressions. “
Art is everywhere. Art is nowhere.
I am in Paris for a couple of nights to visit Paris Photo and also meet up with some photographers and gallerists who are exhibiting over the weekend at the satellite shows. One exhibition I was taken to visit was Approche.Paris which was housed in a multi-level building just off Palais Royal, on Rue de Richlieu. The exhibition showcased 14 contemporary photographers/artists with different approaches using the medium of photography and constructed mixed media materials to challenge the often misconstrued legitimacy of photography as a ‘minor artform’.
‘Contemporary art and photography are not mutually exclusive.’
This is one mega-exhibition that involves so many photographers & designers that will be traveling from Tokyo to Paris in 2018. Am honoured to be part of this historic event.
Press Release 01 November 2017
“SHIBUYA – TOKYO CURIOSITY by TOKYO-GA”
DURATION: January 2nd to January 8th, 2018
VENUE: Shibuya Hikarie 8/Cube
Organized by NPO TOKYO-GA
Supported by The 4th ward, Paris. Shibuya ward, TOKYO
Cooperated by TOKYO-GA Supporters Circle
~ Curiosity connects the world ~ Identity・Diversity・Traceability ~
As one of the most dynamic city environments in Asia, Shibuya is at the forefront of new, on-the-edge trends and more particularly, of the emergence of a new Japanese life style. The dynamics of Shibuya have attracted the attention of the Japanese media and institutions. With the support of the city ward, the NPO TOKYO-GA has been charged to produce an exhibition featuring Shibuya’s identity at Shibuya Hikarie in January 2018.
This first exhibition will be the forerunner of what we would like to conceive as a traveling exhibition that presents the identity of Shibuya and the young Japanese generation abroad. Concrete and abstract themes will be featured through photography as a central element combined with mural video projection, virtual reality and art installations.
” I expect Tokyo-GA to communicate the exquisite charm, power, and vibrations of the Tokyo Megalopolis, with its sceneries and urban landscapes, a succession of vertical and horizontal rhythmical symphonies, which no other city in the world can give.”
~ Richard COLLASSE, President, CHANEL.K.K.
TOKYO-GA Participating Photographers
Satoshi ASAKAWA, Jean-Michel BERTS, Navid BARATY, Yukari CHIKURA, Renate D’AGOSTIN, Giuseppe DE FRANCESCO, Michael FEATHER, Stéphanie FRAISSE, Michel FRAPIER, Haruhi FUJII, the GAZE, Emmanuel GUILLARD, Mikio HASUI, Roland HAGENBERG, Tatsuya HIRABAYASHI, Kenji HIRASAWA, Taishi HIROKAWA, Tomoki HIROKAWA, Naoki HONJO, Norihisa HOSAKA, Minoru HOHTSUKI, Rie ISHISHITA, Kimiko ISHIYAMA, Gentaro ISHIZUKA, Keiichi ITO, Ooki JINGU, Bishin JUMONJI, Daisuke KAMIMURA, Chiaki KANO, Junpei KATO, Haruna KAWANISHI, Evarett KENNEDY BROWN, Rei KISHITSU, Eriko KOGA, Yasutaka KOJIMA, Kentaro KUMON, Osamu KURIHARA, Edward LEVINSON, Sebastien LEBEGUE, Steven LEE, Ilse LEENDERS, Tomoaki MAKINO, Yoshiko MATSUNAGA, Chihiro MINATO, Muga MIY AHARA, Mamiko MIYAHARA, Christopher MORRIS, Daido MORIYAMA, Yuki MORITA, Ken-ichi NAGASAKI, Masataka NAKANO, Hiroki NAKASHIMA, Sakiko NOMURA, Katsumi OHMORI, Mitsugu OHNISHI, Ryo OHWADA, Atsushi OKADA, Tsutomu ONO, Yuki ONODERA, Daisuke OOZU, Cesar ORDOÑEZ. Thomas PRIOR, Bruno QUINQUET, Takehito SATO, Tatsuya SHIMOHIRA, Taku SHINDO, Vincent SOULIE, Jeremie SOUTEYRAT, Ichigo SUGAWARA, Masayoshi SUKITA, Takeshi SUMI, Mikiya TAKIMOTO, Saori TAO, Kiyoshi TATSUKAWA, Yukinori TOKORO, Yoshihiko UEDA, Makiko UI, Kikuko USUYAMA, Kazuhiko WASHIO, Kazuki WATANABE, James WHITLOW DELANO, Michael WOLF, Celine WU, Masami YAMAMOTO, Yuki YAMADA(CHAP-TYAPU), Naomi YANAGIMOTO, Hiroshi YODA, Alao YOKOGI, Guenter ZORN
TOKYO-GA 東京画 MISSION STATEMENT
DESCRIBING TOKYO SCAPES BY 100 PHOTOGRAPHERS
In spring 2011, Japan experienced one of the biggest tragedies of its history that will remain in the memory of people for generations. The tremendous earthquake, the enormous tsunami and the catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima power plant, all three incidents have damaged heavily the beautiful Japanese landscape and the trust in a safe Japanese nation.
TOKYO-GA, established in April 2011, gathers photographs taken by 100 photographers who have chosen Tokyo as their subject. Through the perspective of these photographers, “TOKYO-GA” wants to promote reflection on the development of the Japanese capital in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster. By looking at the works, the onlooker is invited to ponder over what is beautiful, what is sad, what is important, and to evaluate the possibilities that may lie ahead. The works illustrated show us some aspects of what is essential for Tokyo, something fragile such as an atmosphere, a behaviour or a gesture.
TOKYO-GA invites to share the beat and breath of Tokyo, a city undergoing big changes in this decade, and to witness the presence with sincerity through the eyes of 100 photographers who have each of them identified Tokyo in their own personal way.
Commissioner Founder – TOKYO-GA
c/o KLEE INC TOKYO
8-12-25, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 Tokyo Japan Tel: 81-(0)3-5410-1277 Fax: 81-(0)3-5410-1278
France24 broadcast journalist reporting live from the Candlelight Vigil at Trafalgar Square for the victims of the terrorist attack at Westminster on 22 March, 2017. The last vigil I attended here at the same London landmark was on the occasion of the Paris attacks of November 2015.
This evening’s vigil was attended by thousands of local residents and visitors who filled the square, surrounded with armoured police vehicles, road closures and many armed officers.
Sting reopened the Bataclan in Paris, last evening, with the words “We will never forget them”. One year on, the gig venue has been completed renovated, after 90 people were massacred by terrorists on 13 November 2015, along with another 40 people, killed in three other sites that evening. Coincidentally, today also is Remembrance Sunday, when Britain pays respect to the war dead from WW1 and also subsequent world conflicts.
I wasn’t in Paris, but noticed this poster in the amazing art-deco interior of Brasserie Zedel, a lower ground French restaurant and bar constructed in the Grand Cafe style in London’s West End.
Been looking through my archives this morning searching out my past Parisian images, after seeing a brilliant image of the Eiffel Tower in the snow, with a military-geared young couple racing towards the photographer in the foreground, taken by Lee Miller in 1944.
I have photographed a lot of Paris, since 1999 to 2003 and several other shorter periods later on, in fact, my second exhibition was held at the Light Gallery in London in December 2004, jointly with my friend Andy Craggs, with our Parisian images in tribute to Cartier Bresson who passed away earlier that same year. I think any ardent ‘street’ fan would safely put hand on heart that he or she was once inspired by HCB’s amazing work, in no uncertain terms. In any case, HCB would stand high up on the list of the greatest photographers in the world, in terms of inspiring new artists to taking up street photography.
This image was taken at the famous Le Café Marly on the Rivoli, by the Louvre in 2001. It is a ‘must see’ spot for any Paris visitor as it affords a grand view of the glass Pyramid, set amongst the amazing historic site.
I hope to post more of these Parisian images, as I find them.
Our Lady of Lourdes chapel, La Madeleine, Paris
A brief visit to Paris this week brought me to the Madeleine district in Paris in search of parking space. After dropping by at Galerie-T in Cadet to see the Tokyo-Ga Imaginary Bookstore set up, I had intended to visit the Gary Winogrand exhibition at the Jeu de Paume at Concorde, but having got there, I found a long queue which I had not planned sufficient time to stay lodged at. Disappointed, on the way back to the underground garage, I popped into the imposing neo-classical La Madeleine church, at the end of Rue Faubourg St Honore.
As 2011 draw to a close, I have trawled through my archive of close to one thousand photographs made over the last 12 months to see if I could identify the most memorable ones, the best ones or the most striking images. Call them keepers, significant images or gems, whatever, these are the 15 photographs that called out to me as I scrolled through the filmstrip in Lightroom. Memorable may not be the best ones, I have discovered.
I tend to shoot less nowadays, opting for more precisely captured images rather than a ‘trigger happy’ mode. I guess that’s simply down to time. The less time I have to sit in front of the computer editing and deleting wonky shots, the better. I also shot film this year, albeit about 10 rolls of black and white and experimental colour negs 120 in total with my Rolleiflex. I guess, less is still more. One observation is that I have simply taken more images with my phonecam, some significant images too, as I have the phone with me all the time. However, I have left these out in my quest.
I believe this is a good exercise for all you serious photographers out there. Review your work and chuck out all the clutter, free up some hard disc space along the way also. Honestly, you will probably not be viewing all the hundreds of other images stored away on your computer. Save only the best, your best. Reflect on what you could have taken or been, how you could have improved the shot, changed angle perhaps, zoomed in a little? Used a wider aperture perhaps? Tilt your frame a little? Used a wider lens? Once you are conscious of the variability that you can have in making your pictures, it will open a whole new world. You will be in control.
Make a book! With all the online publishing platforms available today like blurb.com or Apple albums, it would be a neat little project to put all your favourite images into a book. The quality is amazing, and you will also have the perfect gift for your friends. That is what I will be doing next year, starting January!
As Erwitt puts it rightly, ..‘Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. ‘
Lastly, don’t limit yourself to any subject or genre, shoot everything, who knows, you might even enjoy it!
I believe Ansel Adams uttered the phrase ‘Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop’. I guess, in his eyes, I have a bumper harvest.
1. R Chubb & Sons Butcher, 350 Upper Richmond Road West, London SW14 – This was taken last December a couple of weeks before Christmas. A friend who buys her meat from this butcher told me about the pre-Christmas turkey orders which her butchers hand pluck to hang, before customers come to collect. Photographed with a 28mm lens inside the shop, I only had a couple of minutes to grab a few shots, most were blurry, and one was a keeper. The lighting was horribly green due to the mix of fluorescent, and daylight plus a UV lamp by the window. I just love the traditional documentary aspect of this image, the wry smile of the butcher, his sleeves all pulled up, ready for action. These are organically grown birds I suspect, which have been pre-ordered by his discerning customers.
2. Family at the beach, Nice Plage, France – This was taken in late summer on the Cote d”Azur. This time of the year the beaches are empty, the sea is cold, and the light is simply amazing. It was nice to see a family coming together for a picnic and swim in the icy waters. Not the glamour that you would associate here in high Summer, but ordinary folk having a good time.
3. Odd couple, Nice – Also captured in Nice, I find this image reveals the complexity of human emotions, relationships, inner thoughts and the spontaneity which the medium of photography can capture. Deep in thought or idle conversation, the interpretation is left to the viewer to decipher.
4. Pete Irving, Urban Kings gym trainer – taken in an ultra modern boxing gym in Kings Cross. The lighting was a challenge, but the camera handled it well. Handheld at 640ISO with the brilliant little Fujifilm X100.
5. Vuvuzela, Notting Hill Carnival, 2011 – I photograph regularly at the carnival in August, and this year I brought out the Rolleiflex and shot some Lomography 120 Redscale film. This was the first time I was using this special film, I was told it was just standard Superia 100 film wound back to front on the spool. It gives interesting red or green tinted negatives depending on the exposure. Give it a stop under and it goes reddish and vice versa, or was it the other way round. I don’t care but the results are nevertheless interesting.
6. Carnival reveler – I shoot a lot of street photography and urban portraits is one of my favourite subjects. Again, taken with the square Rolleiflex, on Redscale film, I particularly like the blurred background which brings attention to the girl’s cheerful face. Now, what’s wrong with a smiley portrait?
7. Ventnor Beach, Isle of Wight – We were on the Isle of Wight for a SLOW Photography weekend workshop and encountered this lovely restored VW campervan parked on Ventnor esplanade. Might just enlarge this and hang it on my wall.
8. The Royal Wedding, Trafalgar Square – This picture of two brothers sleeping on the ground at Trafalgar Square was simply too good to miss. There had only just been a Royal Wedding, and a huge crowd gathered there to watch the live telecast on giant LCD screens. Tired out or just not interested, they slept peacefully whilst their parents stood over them.
9. Outside 30 Camden Square, London NW1 – Simon McGregor-Wood, anchor of ABC News making a live broadcast outside Amy Winehouse’s home, the day after her sudden death.
10. Second Floor, Eiffel Tower, Paris – Not quite sure why this photograph was screaming out to me, but then it always a special moment to be at the Eiffel Tower and the light was kinda surreal too. Definitely a hanger.
11. Havana, Cuba – Taken in the Cathedral in Central Havana. A tender moment in this photograph of a father explaining the depiction of the Crucifixion to his daughter. A grab shot in all ways, I was there at the right moment. I think I fired off 4 shots but only one was sharp. The first one. Lesson learnt.
12. Malecon, Havana, Cuba – Cuba was the destination of one of our photo workshops. The Malecon is a famous stretch of seafront lining the north coast of the city of Havana with the Florida sea. Just some 90 odd miles away is Florida, where so many Cubans risk their lives to cross over by boat. This photograph was taken in the early evening, where we were walking to our dinner appointment. Four boys fishing in the foreground show the scale of this stretch of coast.
13. Visiting Che, Santa Clara, Cuba – Che Guevara’s monument in Santa Clara is an amazingly stoic place, sparse, all marble and concrete. A group of local women walk past the huge statue of their favorite national hero.
14. Havana, Cuba – A popular pastime for Cubans is to rear birds. I found this interesting wall complete with growing orchids and tropical plants in the rear courtyard of a restaurant where the Buena Vista Social club members were performing. The light was very low, and it was a gamble to take the shot, at 1600ISO.
15. Tottenham, one week after – A significant photograph of a burnt out building, totally destroyed by fire at Ground Zero of the Tottenham riots in August. The trouble in Tottenham sparked a nationwide riot, the worst in UK history, causing millions of pounds of damage and widespread looting, violence and deaths.
Bring on 2012.
NB. Any of these pictures are available to purchase, just send me an email for a quote. This is the first time I’m compiling this, may make it a regular yearly ritual.
Spent a couple of nights in Paris, my favourite city last week. Stayed close to the Republic area in a small hotel off the main road. I’ve been coming over to Paris since the early late 90s, and am quite familiar with the city and its sights, but, like any other large and culturally orientated city in the world, I’m always discovering new angles to photograph. Still being the Chinese New Year season, Chinese or Vietnamese Parisians stick great big red lanterns outside their business premises. They are all the same. Rather uniform lanterns. Paris is a walkable city, the boulevards and avenues provide magnificent vistas across the city and the tourist sights are filled with visitors from all over the world. I have noticed a significant number from mainland China and many Japanese visitors also.
I met up with Isabelle, a Cambodian Chinese Parisian, and Alexandre, a Pole living in Paris, at a local Vietnamese restaurant to sample the delicious beef pho in Belleville. The restaurant Dong Huong occupied three shop lots and was packed with diners, even on a weekday.