Tag Archives: European Cities

Art Space Tokyo

Art Space Tokyo

Tokyo is not an easy place to get to grips with, especially for those of us who are used to the structure and scale of most European cities. Its multi-layered sprawl and labyrinthine underground transport network can make it feel like a never-ending maze. Like the city itself, Tokyo’s art scene can feel impenetrable to an outsider. The fluctuations of the art world make it difficult to keep up with the art landscape in any big city, but Tokyo more than most as the contemporary art market is not as developed and established as in the US or Europe. This doesn’t mean fewer galleries, but rather more of them and a constant ebb and flow of relocations, openings, and closures too. As a regular visitor to the city over the last decade, I still feel as if I have only seen the tip of the art scene iceberg. Galleries are often small, tiny even, and difficult to find, rarely at street level but tucked away in a basement or on the 4th floor of an anonymous building in a non-descript neighbourhood. Part of the charm if you’re gallery hopping, but if you actually have to get to a meeting, it can be a little more stressful. I often rely on Tokyo Art Beat, a kind of online art events guide (in both Japanese and English) including exhibition reviews that tells you what is on in Tokyo. A very useful tool, in its attempt to be comprehensive it also ends up being a little overwhelming and is probably more useful when you know what you are looking for.

Thankfully there is now another online English-language resource to turn to. Art Space Tokyo has existed as a physical book since 2008, but it has now been launched on digital platforms and as a website including three major sections: spaces, interviews and essays, as well as a timeline of some of the major art events in Tokyo over the last 60+ years. Rather than going for a comprehensive picture of the Tokyo art scene, Art Space Tokyo limits itself to a couple of handfuls of spaces and art world ‘players’, providing the essential info but also going into some depth and analysing current trends. The essays included also tackle interesting questions such as the nature of Japanese street art or the state of art journalism and criticism in Japan, making this much more than a guidebook to the Tokyo art world. The authors, Ashley Rawlings and Craig Mod, have also clearly given a lot of thought to translating all the content from a paper book to digital platforms (iPad, Kindle) and to a website. They have been generous too, putting up the entire contents of the book online for free, even holding on to Nobumasa Takahashi‘s great illustrations, rather than treating the site as a sneak preview promotional tool. This one is bound to come in handy on my next visit to Tokyo.

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Photo Stroll – My Positive Day photos by Jiří Třeštík in Prague

The Roaming Eye (tRE) is back in the Czech Republic and is on the look out for, and is enjoying coming across, some random photography. With this in mind, the q cafe has a small show downstairs in the cafe on Opatovická 12, Praha 1 until 28 July.
Czech photographer Jiří Třeštík accompanied and documented three men living with HIV in three different European cities Prague, Munich and Zurich.
So here’s a preview for those who may be interested in the small cafe/bar show…

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Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Shows, Uncategorized Tagged: AIDS, black and white, documentary, HIV, Jiří Třeštík, photo show, Prague

Photographer #398: Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin, United Kingdom, 1979, is a documentary photographer who was originally trained as a photojournalist. He concentrates on developing larger bodies of work that engage and reflect on current affairs. He focuses on the less reported aspects of the Middle East and Africa, trying to achieve a “more comprehensive viewpoint of an often misunderstood and ignored reality”. In his series Cairo Divided he photographed the construction sites in the deserts outside of Cairo. The city has grown at a fast pase, and even though it’s growth was bounded by the narrow strip of fertile land, irrigated by the Nile, the elite class of the city is starting to move to new urban centers in the desert in an attempt to escape the chaos and growing amount of slums. Mistake of Nature is a series photographed in Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic of Uzbekistan. While being a region that has suffered one of the worst environmental disasters, the disapearance of the Aral Sea, which in turn has caused a collapse of its industry and economy, the people are slowly demanding their independance. The people that wish not to have an independent state are largely leaving the region. In recent years Jason has exhibited his work in several European cities as well as Boston, Toronto, Dubai and Cairo. The following images come from the series Cairo Divided, Mistake of Nature and In the Footsteps of the King.

Website: www.jasonlarkin.co.uk

Photographer #395: Henrik Isaksson Garnell

Henrik Isaksson Garnell, 1987, Sweden, is a young, unconventional and experimental photographer. For his series Un-plugged 2.0 he worked as a sculptor. He combined items we can find in nature with technology. Bones, moose teeth, plants and other organic objects are put together with wires, lights and other man-made objects. Once the new life forms were finished he photographed the creatures using a large-format camera against a black background. The aesthetic images are haunting and resemble creatures formed by a scientist who might not be from this planet. Henrik uses various forms of sculpture-making aswell as a large array of techniques in photography. In recent years he has exhibited his work at various venues in Stockholm, but also in several other European cities. The following images come from the series Un-plugged 2.0, Ápsis and Fetus.

Website: www.henrikisaksson.se

Photographer #380: Marcel van der Vlugt

Marcel van der Vlugt, 1957, The Netherlands, is a fine-art, fashion and commercial photographer based in Amsterdam. Once he was finished with his studies at the School for Photography in The Hague he went to Düsseldorf, Germany to assist an advertising photographer. Although his school was largely focused on the technical aspects of photography, Marcel managed to create bodies of work that, although technically perfectly executed, are multi-layered in context. He works on a large-format camera, shooting polaroids to keep control on his final image and to engage the models in the process. The images, autonomous or commercial, are often sensual, poetic and carefully composed. Between 2007 and 2010 he released four monographs. The book A New Day, released in 2008, simulates an imaginary cosmetic clinic where instead of liposuction and nosejobs, the patients get implants of flowers. The blossom is a metaphor for youth, new life and fertility. His work has been exhibited mostly in the Netherlands, but also in other European cities and in the USA. The following images come from the series A New Day, I Like… and Der Kommisar.

Website: www.marcelvandervlugt.com

Photographer #380: Marcel van der Vlugt

Marcel van der Vlugt, 1957, The Netherlands, is a fine-art, fashion and commercial photographer based in Amsterdam. Once he was finished with his studies at the School for Photography in The Hague he went to Düsseldorf, Germany to assist an advertising photographer. Although his school was largely focused on the technical aspects of photography, Marcel managed to create bodies of work that, although technically perfectly executed, are multi-layered in context. He works on a large-format camera, shooting polaroids to keep control on his final image and to engage the models in the process. The images, autonomous or commercial, are often sensual, poetic and carefully composed. Between 2007 and 2010 he released four monographs. The book A New Day, released in 2008, simulates an imaginary cosmetic clinic where instead of liposuction and nosejobs, the patients get implants of flowers. The blossom is a metaphor for youth, new life and fertility. His work has been exhibited mostly in the Netherlands, but also in other European cities and in the USA. The following images come from the series A New Day, I Like… and Der Kommisar.

Website: www.marcelvandervlugt.com