Counter Photography: Japan’s Artists Today

Jepson Center June 19 - August 31, 2009

Exhibition Closed August 2009

Co-organized by the Japan Foundation and the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, Counter Photography introduces an exciting selection of photographs by eleven contemporary Japanese artists. Reacting to a society defined by constantly shifting values, demographics, and technologies, these artists employ varied approaches to photographic expression and representation. Some delve beyond external appearance to expose an essential truth, while others attempt to reinterpret and reconfigure issues of identity, self, and community in a world seemingly devoid of a spiritual foundation.

Due to its ability to copy or replicate reality, photography has long been attributed with a certain “truth value.” Consequently, photographs are often cited as documentation or irrefutable evidence of something’s existence in the material world. Counter Photography, as its name implies, challenges many of these popular beliefs, utilizing the inherently visual medium of photography to explore that which cannot be seen. Featuring imagery by Eikoh Hosoe, Akiko Sugiyama, Tomoaki Ishihara, Michichiro Shimabuku, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kazuo Katase, and others, this exhibition includes works ranging from abstracted, minimalist meditations on form to tongue-in-cheek explorations of the supposed documentary function of photography


Images from top to bottom: Eikoh Hosoe (Japanese, b. 1933); Kamaitachi #8 (detail), 1965; Silver Gelatin Print. Akiko Sugiyama (Japanese, b. 1958); In Spiral II (detail), 1998; Type-C print on museum board.

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