Leap Before You Look
Contemporary Japanese Photography vol. 20
Oct. 27, 2023—Jan. 21, 2024
- Oct. 27, 2023—Jan. 21, 2024
- Closed Mondays (except when Monday falls on a holiday, in which case the museum is open and closed the following day)，New Year’s holidays
- Admission：Adults ￥700 ／College Students ￥560 ／High School and Junior High School Students, Over 65 ￥350 *Prices in parenthesis apply to groups of 20 or more. (Reservation is required.) , admission is free for grade school children or younger; junior high school students living or attending schools in the Tokyo metropolitan area and holders of Japan’s disability identification cards (shogaisha techo) together with two caregiver.
Since 2002, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum has held an annual exhibition of contemporary Japanese photography to support creative minds pushing the boundaries of photography and film, discover promising artists, and showcase new creative endeavors. This year’s twentieth volume features five artists and explores their drive to live through uncertain times.
Our lives have been disrupted by a string of major events since the dawn of the 21st century, beginning with the terrorist attacks in the United States, the Great East Japan Earthquake, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Uncertainty about the future can fuel anxiety, confusion, and hesitance to try new things. We fear making mistakes, shrink from challenges, and find ourselves in a “solitude ten thousand fathoms deep” (W.H. Auden). How can we release this spiritual tension?
This exhibition introduces five artists who confront this deep solitude, and whose unique approaches to photographic art reflect their motivations to live. Even when shrouded in solitude, their work seeks out connection with others, helps us to break loose from stubbornness and reminds us of the things that enrich our lives.
“Leap before you look” has always been part of how we lead our lives.
Born in Tokyo in 1978. Completed the professional photography course at the Tokyo School of Photography after dropping out of Waseda University. Following a stint at Shoto Studio, Utsu became active as an artist around 2005. She became an instructor at the School of Photography in 2006. Drawing inspiration from her subjects, she combines animals, insects, plants, objects, figures, and illustrations within a unique worldview that is reminiscent of our experiences of playing with objects as children. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Japan and abroad, including “Out of Ark” (G/P gallery, Tokyo) and “Out of Focus: photography” (Saatchi Gallery, London). Her photo collections include Out of Ark (Artbeat Publishers, 2009) and Wunderkammer (Fugensha, 2023), and she has produced numerous zines including PORTRAIT, Utsutsu no Yume, and Charming Charms. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 26th Hitotsubo Exhibition (now 1_WALL Exhibition) (2006).
Utsu Yumiko, Chicken and Macaw, 2022 ©Yumiko Utsu
Born in Gifu Prefecture in 1987. Graduated from the Photography Department at Nagoya Visual Arts in 2014. Fuchikami became a freelancer after working at Roppongi Studio, and has presented an ongoing series of photographs of people in the Ueno neighborhood of Tokyo. His images of people directly framed against the backdrop of Ueno depict a peculiar proximity with his subjects. Exhibitions include “On the Street - To Empty My Heart" (TOTEM POLE PHOTO GALLERY, Tokyo, 2016) of people in Ueno, and the “2021 Young Portfolio Satellite Exhibition” (Place M, 2022). His photo collections include On the Street 1 (2017, private edition), On the Street 2 (STAIRS PRESS, 2018), and Ueno Park (Shiogama Photo Festival, 2023). He won the Photography Grand Prix at the Shiogama Photo Festival 2022 Portfolio Review.
Fuchikami Yuta, From the series Ueno Park, 2023 ©Yuta Fuchikami
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1970. Graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Photography in 2000. Hoshi’s street photography is mostly shot in Shinjuku, Yokohama, and Osaka’s Nishinari district. With a distinctive sense of distance, his captivating images capture subjects who can only be found through diligent visits. Beginning with his first solo exhibition “Mercury-vapor Lamp” (2002), he held regular exhibitions at Tokyo’s galeria Q, which also released his photo collection Luminance of Street (2007). He held a solo exhibition at gallery onetwentyeight in New York in 2008. After becoming an operating member of the third district gallery, he displayed his “St. photo exhibition” in 34 installments from 2009 to 2020. His photo collection WHISTLE was published in 2017 (Little Big Man, Los Angeles). Recipient of the 30th Society of Photography Award.
Hoshi Haruto, From the series 3-1-19-1F, Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 2022-23 ©Haruto Hoshi
Born in 1988 in China. mumuko has journeyed to more than 60 countries around the world with only a single suitcase. Her photographic work spans a broad range of genres, from advertisements for “Kaguya by Gucci” to theater and film. As a visual artist, she explores new realms of expression through photography, video, installations, and spatial experiences. Exhibitions include “Wrinkle Up” (Canon Gallery Ginza + Osaka, 2021), “And now･･･” (Sony Imaging Gallery Ginza, 2021), “Role & Me” (IWEI Art Museum, Yunnan, China, 2020). Her first photobook, DREAMLESS (Genkosha, 2022), contains photographs taken in the countries where she traveled between 2015 and 2020 and in Japan during the pandemic from 2020 to 2022. Recipient of Grand Prix at 2nd Canon SHINES Photo Awards (selected by Kanayo Egawa and Yasushi Kawamoto, 2019) and the Editor’s Photo Award at “ZOOMS JAPAN 2021” (2021).
mumuko, It’s war, so let’s marry. Chapter 2, 2022-23 ©mumuko
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1984. Joined Iino Mediapro after graduating from Tokyo Visual Arts and has been active as an artist since 2010. Yamagami has participated in group exhibitions including “LUMIX MEETS BEYOND 2020 BY JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHERS #3” (YellowKorner Paris Pompidou, Paris, 2015 / IMA gallery, Tokyo, 2016), “daikanyama photo fair 2017” (Daikanyama Hillside Forum, Tokyo, 2017) and “3daysEXHIBITION” (Sezon Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2017). Solo exhibitions include “0189” (Shashokudo, Tokyo, 2017), “Shimpei Yamagami Exhibition” (Shibunkaku, Tokyo and Kyoto, 2019), “The Disintegration Loops” (POETIC SCAPE, Tokyo, 2019), “Refined black” (Laboratory ∆II, Tokyo, 2019), “Helix” (minä perhonen, Tokyo and Kyoto, 2022), “liminal (eyes)” (POETIC SCAPE, Tokyo, 2023), “liminal (eyes)” (Ao-Hata Bookstore, Fukuoka, 2023), “liminal (eyes)” (PURPLE, Kyoto, 2023). Photo collections include Helix (Akira Minagawa [minä perhonen], 2022) and liminal (eyes) YAMAGAMI (bookshop M, 2023)
Yamagami Shimpei, From the series Epiphany, 2018-21 ©Shimpei Yamagami
Total: 382 works [Utsu: 48, FUCHIKAMI: 56, HOSHI: 231, YAMAGAMI: 45, mumuko: 2]
Catalog Leap Before You Look Contemporary Japanese Photography vol. 20
*Now Printing *Sales are planned to begin in November 30, 2023.
Edited by Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Published by Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Includes essays by Hamasaki Kaori (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum), statements by exhibiting artists, a list of works, and installation views.
The latest exhibition views are scheduled to be published.
*The schedule is subject to change. Any further changes will be announced.
Sponsored by the Corporate Membership of Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
- Gallery Talk with Sign Language interpretation [in Japanese]
Jan. 19 (Fri) 14:00～
- Curator‘s Gallery Talk [in Japanese]