Fiona Tan, News from the Near Future, 2003, video projection, collection of the artist
©Fiona Tan, courtesy of Wako Works of Art

from the cave

Oct. 1Nov. 24, 2019

  • Oct. 1Nov. 24, 2019
  • Closed Mondays (except when Monday falls on a holiday, in which case the museum is open and closed the following day) *Temporary closing on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13
  • Admission: Adults ¥800/College Students ¥700/High School and Junior High School Students, Over 65 ¥600 * Prices in parenthesis apply to groups of 20 or more, admission is free for grade school children or younger; junior high school students living or attending schools in the Tokyo metropolitan area, holders of Japan’s disability identification cards (shogaisha techo) together with one caregiver, and holders of the museum’s annual passport together with one accompanying person. Those aged 65 or over are admitted free on the third Wednesday of each month. * Free admission for everyone on “Citizens Day, ” Oct 1 (Tue). * Multiple discounts do not apply.

The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is delighted to present the from the cave exhibition.
It is said that sight is the sense through which we obtain the bulk of our information. Individuals use visual information to create their own images and base their thinking on the assorted accumulations of these images. Our perceptions are based on a complicated tangle of images resembling a labyrinthine cave. Furthermore, different people react to the same scene in different ways; even though they may look at the same photograph or image, it will evoke different feelings in them. In this exhibition we will present photographic and video works that employ a ‘cave’ as a motif or metaphor to attempt to rethink the way in which our images or perceptions are created.
The use of a ‘cave’ as a motif to explore the origins of our cognition has an unexpectedly wide application. In his ‘Allegory of the Cave’ the philosopher, Plato, hinted at the fundamental problem of ‘the virtual image and reality’ that underlies our perception of images. The religious scholar, Mircea Eliade, pointed out that caves are employed as places in which to reestablish one’s relationship with the outside world and re-assess oneself at a fundamental level.
The works in this exhibition are extremely diverse. There is a drawing of a cave by the nineteenth century chemist and photographic pioneer who first coined the term, ‘photography’, John Herschel, which was created using a camera lucida, in an effort to satisfy his desire to capture the view he could see in front of his eye to transmit to others. Osamu James Nakagawa presents an installation, fusing contemporary technology and his own original techniques to present a visualization of an Okinawan cave (gama), overlapping history with his own identity. Kitano Ken’s new photograms of babies, which are being shown here for the first time, cause us to think of our own bodies or existences as being similar to the existence of a cave. Shiga Lieko presents a recent work that forces us to reconsider our identity. Fiona Tan’s video work starts with the view from a cave in a bay, dexterously weaving together various old news films to create a prediction of the future. Finally there is the work by Gerhard Richter that forces us to reconsider the fact that our image comprises of a complicated structure resembling a cave. We hope that you will come to view this multimodal collection of ‘images’ that employ the theme of a ‘cave’ as their starting point in attempting to reassess the body and existence, history and society as well as to connect past, present and future through photography.

Organized by Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture The Tokyo Shimbun Sponsored by Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. Corporate Membership of Tokyo Photographic Art Museum In cooperation with Tokyo Zokei University Photographers’ Laboratory Co., Ltd.