Workshops & Courses
Photographies in Japan
1 Feb - 22 Mar 2017
© Akiko Takizawa
Shomei Tomatsu, Coca-Cola, Tokyo, 1969 © Shomei Tomatsu
PHOTOGRAPHIES IN JAPAN
Wednesday evenings, 1 February - 22 March 2017, 18.30 - 20.00
£200/£180 Members & Concessions
Led by Jelena Stojković
This course introduces participants to the key moments and issues of concern relevant to the history of, and recent developments in, photography in Japan. It spans early uses of photography in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the modernist practices of the 1920s and ‘30s, as well as the post-war and contemporary periods.
Navigating through the richness and diversity of photographic practices in Japan, the course combines in-depth analysis of individual bodies of work with reflections on the wider contextual issues that frame them, including the socio-political, art historical and theoretical issues specific to the country.
Week 1: In and out of Japan
Photography was practiced in Japan as early as in 1850s. However, its historical account was relatively unknown outside of the country before the 1970s. We kick start the course by exploring this tension, mapping some of the earliest practices of photography in Japan against their existing knowledge outside of the country.
Week 2: Modernism and Avant-Garde
In this session we discuss modernist and avant-garde photography in Japan during the 1920s and ‘30s, a period mostly referred to as ‘pre-war’. This was a ‘golden age’ of photography in the country, largely brought about by the touring Film and Photo exhibition, travelling around Japan in 1931.
Week 3: The Image Generation
The emergence of ‘post-war’ photography in Japan is widely associated with a new generation of photographers, such as Eikoh Hosoe, Kikuji Kawada and Shomei Tomatsu. These photographers are also referred to as the ‘image generation’ and have worked in collaboration on several occasions in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Week 4: Provoke
The so-called Provoke photographers, including Nakahira Takuma, Daido Moriyama and Yutaka Takanashi, received significant attention from scholars and curators in the 2000s. We discuss their work in detail and regard it in the context of politics and experimental arts in 1960s Japan.
Week 5: Concepts and Sentiments
Into the 1970s, photography in Japan took part in conceptual tendencies following the Man and Matter (1970) exhibition but it also shifted towards a more personalised manners of expression, following the failure of radical politics in the 1960s.
Week 6: Contemporary Art and its Institutions In this session we discuss the emergence of independent photography galleries in Japan in the 1970s and the establishment of such important institutions as the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum in 1990. We also consider the integration of photography into the wider field of contemporary art in this period (1970s-‘90s).
Week 7: Printed Matter
In this session we pay particular attention to the relevance of printed matter—photo-books and magazines—for photography in Japan. In particular, how the younger generation of photographers embraced and continued a long tradition of photo-book production in the country during the past decade.
Week 8: Emerging Practices
We finish the course by identifying some of the main strands of practice among emerging photographers in Japan, such as the focus on materiality. We consider which issues continue to be important in Japan and why they matter in the global network of contemporary photography.
You will have gained a general understanding of the cultural, social and technical shifts relevant to photography in Japan.
You will have gained a general understanding of key moments relevant to the history of the medium in the country, such as Modernism, Postwar and Contemporary Art.
You will be able to recognize key works and key photographers, such as Yasui Nakaji, Shomei Tomatsu and Lieko Shiga.
You will be able to identify the most relevant exhibitions, institutions and themes of relevance to the historical and contemporary photographic practices in Japan, such as the importance of the traveling Film and Photo exhibition in 1931, the significance of printed matter (photo-books and magazines) as well as the nature of multi-faceted relations between photography, fine art and politics in the country.
The course is open to students of all levels.
There will be a minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 25
The sessions will take place at The Photographers’ Gallery in the café
Each 1.5-hour session will be predominantly lecture based with supporting slides.
Fifteen minutes at the end of each session will be left for group discussion.
The course includes a reading list. There is one text per session that will be referenced within that lecture. A list of additional recommended texts will be provided for extended knowledge; these are optional.
All the sessions are presented by Jelena Stojković, who is an art historian and lecturer. Jelena holds MA in History of Art from SOAS and PhD in Photography from the University of Westminster. She was a Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo and teaches across Fine Art and Photography courses at the University of the Arts London (Camberwell and LCC). Her book, titled Surrealism and Photography in 1930s Japan: The Impossible Avant-Garde is forthcoming from I.B. Tauris.
By booking for this course, you agree to our Terms & Conditions