Posted:Oct 4, 2013

10 Photography Events in Tokyo this Autumn

It’s always photography season in Tokyo. Take your pick from these 10 events.

Tomatsu Shomei, 'Hateruma Island' (1971). Gelatin silver print.
Tomatsu Shomei, 'Hateruma Island' (1971). Gelatin silver print.
Courtesy of Misa Shin Gallery. © Shomei Tomatsu-Interface

With the annual art fair, Tokyo Photo, coming around again, it’s time for TABlog to reflect on this city’s generous offerings when it comes to photography exhibitions.

Tokyo Photo 2013 (from September 27th until 30th) will be the best place to see many of Japan’s best photography galleries and photo-book publishers in one location. Their stalls sit alongside some major international dealers too. Tokyo’s largest photographic institution is the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Shabi), located inside Garden Place in Ebisu. It holds a vast collection of nineteenth and twentieth century photographs, an art library and a theatre. Currently, Shabi is having a series of collection displays on the theme of “The Aesthetics of Photography”. From September 28th, it will exhibit the striking black-and-white works of Issei Suda, who has been active since the 1960s.

To see the latest from major figures in Japanese photography, art-goers can view an exhibition of Takashi Homma at Taro Nasu between September 19th and October 26th. His new series of works are created using a pinhole camera, in contrast to his more familiar digital works. Yasumasa Morimura continues his masquerade inside iconic European paintings with a new body of work at Shiseido Gallery, “Las Meninas renacen de noche”, in which he turns his camera toward Diego Velazquez’s Las Meninas (1656).

As well as the big names, viewers can also check out spaces such as Zeit Foto Salon. Currently, Hitomi Watanabe, who has been a traveler and photographer since the 1970s, is on display. At MEM, a two-part exhibition of work by Shigeo Gocho about street scenes (Part 1) and children (Part 2) will run until October 14th. Contact Gonzo is a performance group whose instant camera-based photographic documentation will be showing at Gallery aM until October 12th.

Coming up a little later in the year is Josef Koudelka, a Czech photographer famous for his black-and-white images of the Prague uprising of 1968. His major retrospective will be held at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo from November 6th.

A nice day trip for any photography lover is the Izu Photo Museum in Shizuoka. The museum is part of a cultural complex known as Clematis no Oka, which also includes the Bernard Buffet Museum, Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, and Literature Museum for Yasushi Inoue. The current show, which ends on the 29th of this month, is a large collection exhibition called “Re-encounters: The Izu Photo Museum Collection”.

Emily Wakeling

Emily Wakeling

Emily Wakeling is a writer and curator who used to be based in Tokyo. Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Emily wrote a Masters thesis on images of girls in contemporary Japanese art. She also curated some local sound art events. Her research interests cover Asian and Australian contemporary art, young women artists, globalisation and art, and new media.