New York - Tokyo-Ga : Ensemble c’est tout
In solidarity with the recent events that have shaken Japan, the curator Naoko Ohta has conceived a large-scale photography project. One hundred photographers roamed the streets of Tokyo to take the pulse of this bustling metropolis turned gathering place.
A modesty of conscience often makes for a beautiful project. Tokyo-Ga was born of a personal feeling in reaction to the Fukushima disaster, a feeling of profound humanity for the people affected, a feeling that Naoko Ohta has transformed into a vast photographic enterprise. “We were completely devastated,” she says. “Many photographers covered the event. Photography has the power to inspire, to bring hope of a better tomorrow. But this time, everything was different. We felt guilty taking a picture, having realized our powerlessness to help the people and the country. It is time to revitalize our world for the future.”
To honor her country, Naoko Ohta chose Tokyo, which became a gathering place in the wake of Fukushima. The capital of the rising sun remains somewhat vague, even to the Japanese. One hundred photographers, local and foreign, were invited to walk the city’s streets and share their views of its architecture, its people, its everyday scenes, and the objects that caught their attention. Fifty-three photographs by twenty-six artists make up the New York exhibition, organized into five chapters. All styles are represented, from landscape and portraits to still life and documentary.
“Through these photographs we learn that the streets of Tokyo can be controlled, beautiful, crowded and silent, conscious of detail but indifferent to the whole,” says Ohta. “I hope that the public will appreciate the inspiration for innovation, and how we have taken them into our confidence to share our personal feelings.” Naturally, we will see more urban poetry in these images than anything else. With their peaceful appearance, they leave the impression that the Tokyo populace forms a unit that privileges, as Naoko Ohta says, the little comforts and indulgences in its relationships. Despite the idea of a constantly changing metropolis, viewers will discover this soaring atmosphere already glimpsed in works like Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, as if Tokyo, in the real world, could make time stand still.
May 16 – May 20, 2012
New York Photo Festival
111 Front Street, Room 216
Brooklyn, NY 11201
A lecture on the same subject will be given Saturday, May 19 and 2pm.
Support for this exhibition provided by FOREST AMONG US supporting circle, Canon Inc, KLEE INC PARIS TOKYO, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York.