Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan

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Fairy Tales Series: Gretel, 2004
Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan

May 16th, 2008 - September 7th, 2008

Tue-Sun 10-6
Please check with venue


Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan will present the

exciting and highly individualistic work of a new generation of

Japanese artists who have come of age following the Asian economic

crash of 1990. For the last several years, China has been the focus of

attention for contemporary Asian art, while the remarkable and

distinctive younger generation of Japanese artists who are working

today has been largely ignored. This ICP exhibition will be the first

major U.S. presentation of contemporary photo-based artwork from Japan

in over ten years. Heavy Light will present the work of thirteen

artists and will fill most of the ICP gallery space. The exhibition

will include both photographs and video, many of which are large and

dramatic pieces. Curated by ICP curator Christopher Phillips and

Noriko Fuku of the University of Art and Design in Kyoto, Heavy Light

will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue and a range of public



Reflecting contemporary directions in Japanese art and culture, Heavy

Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan will be on view from

May 16 through September 7, 2008 at the International Center of

Photography (ICP), 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street. The

works in the exhibition comprise a range of highly individual—and

sometimes eccentric—responses to the changes that have taken place in

Japan since the mid-1990s. In addition to opening up fresh

perspectives on the cultural dynamics of contemporary Japan, Heavy

Light and its accompanying catalogue will provide new insights into

the distinctive position occupied by Japan's visual arts on the world



Heavy Light will feature approximately eighty works by thirteen

Japanese artists, all currently living and working in Japan. The

participating artists are Makoto Aida, Naoya Hatakeyama, Naoki

Kajitani, Hiroh Kikai, Midori Komatsubara, Yukio Nakagawa, Asako

Narahashi, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Tomoko Sawada, Risaku Suzuki, Miwa Yanagi,

Kenji Yanobe, and Masayuki Yoshinaga. Approximately half of these

artists will be showing for the first time in the United States. Seen

together, their works will reveal the unusual imaginative power and

visual inventiveness that are found in recent photo-based art in



The exhibition will explore four themes that have come to occupy

Japanese artists working with camera-based mediums. These include 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. By foregrounding these

themes, the exhibition will provide a window onto the cultural

transformations that are shaping Japan's 21st-century visual art.