There was a man called Gocho Shigeo 1946-1983

Fujifilm Square

poster for There was a man called Gocho Shigeo 1946-1983
[Image: Shigeo Gocho "Self and Others" (1977)]

This event has ended.

There was a photographer called Gocho Shigeo. He left this world prematurely at the age of 36. Nevertheless, he gained a lot of attention; During the 1970s, a fertile period that saw a variety of new photographic expressions and in whose development and deployment he played an important role.
Gocho Shigeo was born 1946 in Niigata Prefecture. Falling ill with Pott’s disease (vertebral tuberculosis) at the age of 3, he was forced to wear a cast to stabilize his lower body over a long period of time. It was a measure that influenced his growth and led him to lead a life with a physically disabled body. A major turning point for the young Gocho, who showed great talent in the field of design, was the encounter with photographer Kiyoji Otsuji at the Kuwasawa Design School after graduating from Highschool. Otsuji was an important figure in the post-war art world and was also a distinguished supporter and educator of many of those artists that later founded a new generation of Japanese photography and art more generally. “As a teacher, ignoring and not supporting this talent I would have committed a crime”. The passion emanating from Otsuji’s recollection of his encounter with Gocho also fueled his persuasion of him, which in turn led Gocho to not only pursue a career as designer but also set him onto the path to become the photographer we know him as today.
Subsequently Gocho, who found himself a new world of creation behind and in front of the camera, began to actively take part in Japan’s photographic scene by publishing works in photographic magazines; works that soon attracted the attention of renowned photographers and critics. His casual photographs of children, his family and friends — his photographic subjects gazing at us from within his quiet and matter-of-fact works mirror Gocho’s life-long inquiry into the personal relation between the ‘self’ and ‘others’. In his gaze, shaped by the experience of his handicapped self being not only the one looking but constantly also the ‘other’ being looked at, we find an uncontrived look at the world coexisting with a yet deep insight into the workings of the world.
This exhibition traces the ways Gocho was looking at the world, from his earliest works until his premature death by presenting selected monochrome images from series such as ‘Every day’, ‘Childhood’ and ‘SELF AND OTHERS’. In recent years Gocho has become the subject of re-evaluation and we hope that you, too, in the world he shows us, (re-)discover yourself in the ‘other’.



from October 01, 2016 to December 28, 2016


Shigeo Gocho



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