Tokyo Photo 2011 last weekend. It's a fair in which a large grouping of photography galleries displayed a selection of their works. And the work covered older work to current, Japan and abroad. Its opening display was a selection of Tohoku-earthquake themed works from a mix of French and Japanese photographers organised by the French Embassy – although we can move swiftly through that the work in the exhibition hall proper. As with any fair it was filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Among the very good was EMON gallery's work which I've featured twice in this blog. Plenty of history (from early Daido Moriyama to Andy Warhol) was on show, but for me personally, also standing out among the good, were a couple of works which took history and gave it a modern twist.
Meguma Takasaki, above, from Picture Photo Space, created a piece that looks like an ink painting but on close up is made of details of leaves. Hisaji Hara, below, from the Gallery MEM, made mock narratives looking like some revamp of Yasuzo Nojima-era photographs.
Much else was good (much else was not) but these were two from recent years that lingered with me. As I looked around Chris Shaw was giving a talk (in association with London's Tate Modern), about work that also harks back to earlier styles with a contemporary, rushed and dirty feel.