Show reveals Japan's revival after the war
HA NOI (VNS)— An exhibition presenting a panorama of Japan and its people is being held for the first time in Viet Nam.
Happy time: Dancers rest on a theatre rooftop in Tokyo in 1949.
|The old Japan: A photo by Ikko Narahara in 1958.
The exhibition, entitled Metamorphosis of Japan after the War: 1945-1964, is displaying 123 black-and-white photos by 11 renowned artists which retrospectively review Japanese society after the Second World War.
For the purposes of this exhibition, organisers from the Japan Foundation have defined the post-war era as the period from the end of the war in 1945 to the year of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
The dramatic upheaval of the time has been caught by the photographers who have recorded the society transforming. Their work has been praised for both its artistic and historical value.
One of the artists on display is photographer Ken Domon (1909-90), one of the best-known Japanese photographers of the 20th century, known particularly for his cool-headed photo realism. He developed doubts about retail photography and taught himself the skills needed for photojournalism. After the war, he promoted the photo-realism movement and pursued projects grappling with social issues.
The exhibition is also displaying works by the late photographers Ihee Kimura, Hiroshi Hamaya and Tadahiko Hayashi.
Hamaya and Kimura were known for their portraits highlighting the strength of the Japanese people and the importance of tradition in their daily lives.
"Their works distanced themselves from the prevalent social realism movement, echoing instead with the French humanist photography of Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson," said the exhibition curator Marc Feustel.
The seven other photographers are Shigeichi Nagano, Ikko Narahara, Kikuji Kawada, Shomei Tomatsu,Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Eikoh Hosoe, and Takeyoshi Tanuma. Their works have been selected for their reflective look at the complexity of modern Japanese identity.
"It is our hope that as viewers enjoy their undeniable attractiveness and power, these photographs will also provide a starting point for thinking about the society of postwar Japan," said Cao Huy Mien Nha, from the Japan Foundation.
The exhibition is on display at HCM City Museum, 92 Le Thanh Ton, District 1 until next Monday.
It will then be held at Ngo Quyen Exhibition House, 16 Ngo Quyen Street, Ha Noi, from November 20-29 and at the Da Nang Heritage Management Centre, 78 Le Duan Street from December 13-22. — VNS