Opening reception: Friday, November 4, 2016, 6 – 8pm
Ratio 3 is pleased to announce Black Sun/Red Moon: Pictures from Japan, a group exhibition featuring photographs from fifteen Japanese artists. The photographs in this exhibition span decades, offering different perspectives on Japan’s past and present from well-known names and lesser-known figures.
In the decades following World War II, Japanese artists were responding to Americanization, uneven economic growth, and an expanded sense of photography’s applications. Though photography had a presence in pre-war Japan, it was during the 1970s and 1980s that Japanese artists increasingly turned to photography as a method of expression. As the medium diversified, it developed to encompass a wide range of perspectives and methodologies ranging from straight photography, to conceptual and constructed image-making.
Featuring predominantly vintage black-and-white photography, many of the pictures comprising Black Sun/Red Moon are serene in their general impression, yet taken as a whole, the images hint at the quiet tension surrounding a country’s ongoing modernization. Several artists in the exhibition look outward at their homeland and abroad, depicting complicated, changing environments that are both confrontational and wistful; a tightly packed subway provides the counterpoint to a depopulating countryside. Other photographers look inward, staging performances for the camera and revealing charged intimate moments.
Rather than showcasing Japan through a consistent documentation of its people and places, Black Sun/Red Moon builds a portrait of the photographic legacy of a range of Japanese artists, each with a distinct perspective on landscape, portraiture, abstraction, and candid street photography. By situating photographs from this pivotal era of Japanese photography alongside the works of representative pre-war photographers and promising contemporary artists, Black Sun/Red Moon traces the arc of an adapting nation and offers a glimpse at its creative influence.
This exhibition features works by Daido Moriyama, Eikoh Hosoe, Erika Yoshino, Hitoshi Tsukiji, Ikko Narahara, Kansuke Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Suzuki, Masahiro Kodaira, Michio Yamauchi, Nakaji Yasui, Naoya Hatakeyama, Nobuyoshi Araki, Risaku Suzuki, Shomei Tomatsu, and Yutaka Takanashi.
Black Sun/Red Moon: Pictures from Japan is presented in collaboration with Taka Ishii Gallery.