We are open today.(10:00-18:00)

"In the Snow" Yuzawa , Akita 1974

Kitai Kazuo

Somehow Familiar Places

Nov. 24, 2012Jan. 27, 2013

  • Nov. 24, 2012Jan. 27, 2013
  • Closed Monday(if Monday is a national holiday or a substitute holiday, it is the next day) ,from Dec 29 to Jan 1
  • Admission:Adults ¥600/College Students ¥500/High School and Junior High School Students, Over 65 ¥400

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is proud to present this solo exhibition dedicated to the work of Kitai Kazuo. Kitai is one of Japan's most distinguished photographers, yet this is his first solo exhibition at a museum. A retrospective of his career to date, the exhibition covers his most significant series from his student days to his most recent work.

His early masterworks, series such as Barricade and Sanrizuka, are renowned as powerful reportage documenting significant events that are iconic of social movements underway at that time. By showing us the students at their barricades and the farmers resisting the construction of Narita International Airport from an insider's perspective, however, his work is categorically different from the many other photographs that document these events. Then came Somehow Familiar Places and Murae—To the Villages, filled with scenes from Japanese rural lives that are now irretrievably gone; those series, recognized masterpieces, solidified his reputation. They were followed by Funabashi Story, images of daily life in Funabashi City, a bedroom community on the outskirts of Tokyo, and other cheerful, casual images of life in new residential areas. While the style of Kitai's work may appear to be changing, his gaze is always firmly focused on the present moment.

Kitai Kazuo was born in 1944, in Anshan, in what is now the northeastern region of China. In 1965, after withdrawing from the art photography program at Nihon University, he self-published Resistance, a collection of photographs on the protests against a port call by a U.S. nuclear submarine at Yokosuka. In 1969, his Sanrizuka series documenting resistance to the construction of the new Narita International Airport was published in Asahi Graph. His images of the daily lives of farmers engaged in the struggle to prevent the building of the new airport were acclaimed as defining a new standard for documentary photography. Staring in 1974, Asahi Camera carried the long-running series of Kitai's photographs collected in Murae—To the Villages. In 1976, he was awarded the first Kimura Ihee Award. In 1981, he published Tales of Shinsekai, documenting the lives of ordinary residents of Osaka, followed in 1989 by Funabashi Story, filled with text and images describing the lifestyles of residents of Funabashi City, a suburb of Tokyo. His work is currently appearing as the "Walking with Leica" series in Nihon Camera.


Talk by the artist and a guest
Dec. 15 (Sat) 14:00~15:30 Kitai Kazuo×Kaneko Ryuichi(Researcher specializing in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography)
Jan. 12 (Sat) 14:00~15:30 Kitai Kazuo×Tanaka Chotoku(Photographer)
Gallery tours in Japanese
Dec. 14 (Fri) 16:00~
Dec. 28 (Fri) 16:00~
Jan. 11 (Fri) 16:00~
Jan. 25 (Fri) 16:00~
※It has a half-ticket (effective on the day) of this exhibition, and also please gather in the hall entrance.
New Year Gallery tours in Japanese
Jan. 3 (Thu) 11:30~12:15

※It has a half-ticket (effective on the day) of this exhibition, and also please gather in the hall entrance.