STREET now open! Chicago | Los Angeles | Miami | New York | San Francisco | Santa Fe
Amsterdam | Berlin | Brussels | London | Paris | São Paulo | Toronto | China | India | Worldwide
 
New York
Miwa_yanagi
Group Exhibition
International Center of Photography (ICP)
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd, New York, NY 10036
May 16, 2008 - September 7, 2008


Heavy Light from Japan
by Farrah Karapetian


 

 

 

 

More instructive than inspired, ICP's exhibition of recent photography and video from Japan takes as its burden several themes including the "the relationship of nature and the manmade world, the reexamination of Japanese tradition, personal identity as a form of costume play, and the role of the child as a cultural icon." These are honorable themes and the photographers have eyes that are by turns poetic, ironic, and frank. The show, though, exposes more the problematic of curatorial projects that seek too easily to describe culture than it reveals much in depth as far as the command of the artists as such.


Regardless of the curatorial problem (and the problem generally that is ICP's space), Naoya Hatakeyama's River Series is formally surprising, each one a born diptych of urban airspace and concrete underworlds. Asako Narahashi's photographs seem to hold the water they depict, sloshing in their frames. The girls' heads digitally adhered to the bodies of young, flirtatious boys in Midori Komatsubara's imagery are fun if not particularly challenging in their ironic, white, ornamental frames. Yukio Nakagawa's photographs of ikebana are far weirder than they sound, and Tomoko Sawada finds her face a flexible source of multiple identities in a way as profound as the practice of Nikki Lee. I will look for these photographers again, in perhaps a more fruitful choreography.

 

- Farrah Karapetian

 

Images: Miwa Yanagi, Fairy Tales Series: Gretel (2004); Kenji Yanobe, Blue Cinema in the Woods (2006). Courtesy of the artists and ICP.



Posted by Farrah Karapetian on 6/22/08

Related articles:






Copyright © 2006-2013 by ArtSlant, Inc. All images and content remain the © of their rightful owners.