Collection 3

September 30(Sat.) - December 24(Sun.), 2006

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Contemporary Japanese Photography:
Landscapes of Memory / Memories of Landscapes

Since its opening, the National Museum of Art, Osaka, has concentrated primarily on the exhibition and collection of domestic and foreign works of contemporary art from the post-war period.
Photography, which supersedes genre distinctions, occupies a particularly important place in the museum's collection as a fundamental means of expression in contemporary art.
In this exhibition, we present photographic works by contemporary Japanese photographers and artists which the museum has acquired in recent years.

1. Shomei Tomatsu
Born in Nagoya, Aichi in 1930, Shomei Tomatsu in one of Japan's most important post-war photographers. From a constructive series called "Making Photos" to a type of documentary photography focusing on specific places such as Okinawa, Nagasaki, Aichi, and Kyoto, Tomatsu's work encompasses a wide range of styles. In this display, we feature nine of the artist's works including noted early photographs and more recent examples from the 1990s.

2. Miyako Ishiuchi / Naoya Hatakeyama / Ryuji Miyamoto
Miyako Ishiuchi is a photographer whose work often deals with personal memories. Among these are the "Mother's" series, which attempts to capture traces of her late mother, and "Yokosuka Again", which documents mental images of Yokosuka, the town she lived in child.
Naoya Hatakeyama has continued to document urban and natural scenery from a unique perspective. His works include "Underground", which depicts the subterranean waterways that quietly thrive beneath the metropolis of Tokyo, and "Blast," which records the instant that limestone quarries are dynamited for future use in urban construction.
Dealing with the resurrection, of nostalgic memories, Ryuji Miyamoto's photographs center on seemingly devastated places in works such as the "Architectural Apocalypse" series and "Kobe 1995".
In this display, we present several of representative series by these three internationally acclaimed photographers.

3. Yuki Onodera / Tomoko Yoneda
Both of these female photographers are based in foreign countries.
With common fragments of everyday life as her motif, Yuki Onodera, who lives in Paris, uses unique methods to create images of things we have seemingly never seen before. In Onodera's "Portrait of Second-hand Clothes," old garments are depicted against a backdrop in the sky to create a magical atmosphere that is somehow reminiscent of children.
Based in London, Tomoko Yoneda's works include series based on the subject of memory and history as they relate to a specific place, which the artist finds in a meticulous search. Using a similar method, the series in this display, "Between Visible and Invisible," expresses memory and history through the eyes (glasses) of distinguished figures of the 20th century.

4. Tomoaki Ishihara / Naruki Ohshima /Yuki Kimura / Miwa Yanagi
In this section of the exhibition, we present photographic works by artists who are based in the Kansai region. Though the subject in Tomoaki Ishihara's strange self-portraits is visible in the extreme foreground, the focus is trained on the background, making it impossible to determine the artist's expression. While depicting significant morphological similarities, Yuki Kimura's photographs of gigantic toes also serve to nullify any meaning that might be discovered in them. With the help of a computer, Naruki Oshima expresses a complex mixture of scenery that is reflected in the windows of building and a penetrating line of vision. Also known for photographic works that are created with computer graphics, Miwa Yanagi produces fantastic virtual spaces with a standardized image of women achieved through the use of uniforms.

5. Contemporary Sculpture
Until the contemporary era, sculptors used living things such as people and animals as their primary motif, reproducing their subjects in a realistic manner using three-dimensional space. Contemporary sculptors, however, no longer feel compelled to reproduce motifs in this way, and have instead adopted abstract themes and nature itself as subjects of expression, while fostering a wide range of developments through the use of new materials and methods. In this display, we present works of contemporary sculpture that are specifically related to the motifs of nature and landscape.

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