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Contemplation: Emerging Female Photographers from Japan

Guest Curated by Mariko Takeuchi & James Nakagawa

Tomoe Murakami
Ai Takahashi
Yuki Tawada
Yuhki Toyama

Exhibition Dates: August 27 to September 18 / Reception: September 12, 5-6pm
Lecture: September 12, 4pm. / Mariko Takeuchi: Female Photographers from Japan Since the 19th Century.
Artist’s Talks: Yuki Tawada & Ai Takahashi.
Panel Discussion: Mariko Takeuchi, James Nakagawa and Artists.

Contemplation PR [pdf]

Contemplation: Emerging Female Photographers from Japan features work by Tomoe Murakami, Yuki Tawada, Yuhki Toyama and Ai Takahashi. The exhibition has generously been loaned to TWU by Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana.

Photographs depict no more than what is visible. Yet at the same time they possess the uncanny ability to reveal the invisible. Just as hands of the clock mark the linear passing of time, photography can mark our memory, consciousness, desires, and emotions. Beyond merely documenting the visible world, one of the photographers’ roles is to create a space for reflecting and gazing upon such invisibilities. This exhibition introduces the work of four emerging Japanese female photographers who engage these invisibilities from various angles.

Tomoe Murakami stares at the boundary between the visible and the invisible through her ephemeral landscapes that are often filled with mist or clouds. By erasing and scratching the surface of her prints, Yuki Tawada uncovers a strength and inter-dependence that transcends the people and cities captured in her images. It can be said that Murakami traces the limit of photography from the inside while Tawada does so from the outside. In snapshot photographs by Yuhki Toyama, everyone and everything look isolated while longing for the other. This is how she reveals the deeper darkness, which swallows an individual even as he/she is not willing to admit it. Ai Takahashi’s continuous shooting of one remote rural village and its inhabitants illuminates the accumulated experience of place that runs perpendicular to our urban linear experience of time.

The title of this exhibition CONTEMPLATION comes from the Latin "contemplatio" meaning the “act of looking at” something. In turn this stems from "contemplo" meaning, “to gaze attentively, observe.” More important is that its original meaning was “to mark out a space for observation (as an augur does).” These photographers, too, delineate from, within the real world a space for observation and contemplation of the invisible. Viewing ourselves in this consecrated space we cannot help but reconsider our individual and collective pasts and futures.

Mariko Takeuchi, Curator
James Nakagawa, Co-Curator


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