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© Courtesy of the Gallery of Classical Photography

Spinning the Earth’s crown

by at 23/01/2012 20:02

Jan. 25-Feb. 5 at the Gallery of Classical Photography, 23 Savvinskaya Nab., bldg. 1, (495) 510 7713/7714, m. Sportivnaya, www.classic-gallery.ru
Open Wed.-Sun. noon-9 pm; tickets are 250 rubles

Kazutoshi Yoshimura photographs landscapes that imply human life and include buildings or transport objects

© Courtesy of the Gallery of Classical Photography

Kazutoshi Yoshimura photographs landscapes that imply human life and include buildings or transport objects

The Gallery of Classical Photography’s new exhibition “Korona Zemli” (“Earth’s Crown”) features works by seven Japanese photographers, all aged from 36 to 40, each with huge experience and a distinctive style.

The headliner of the show is Ken Kitano, whose conceptual series “Our Face” is dedicated to globalization. He photographs people of different backgrounds in the same pose and merges the images into one of multiple layers. Thus united, 30 dancing geishas in Tokyo, 23 pilgrims visiting a sacred site in South India, or 38 Muslim women attending a service in Indonesia make a blurred but powerful image of a “globalized” person without defined features or character, yet with strange, overwhelming energy.

One of the most renowned Japanese photographers, Naoki Ishikawa, has travelled all around the globe, including the North and South Poles, since he was a teenager. His photos are of landscapes, mostly mountains; they are like observing Earth from an airplane with a magnifying glass. In an interview with eyecurious.com, Ishikawa said that he was “particularly interested in trying to find a new way of photographing ‘icons’ like Mount Fuji.”

His counterpart Takayuki Maekawa is more interested in the inhabitants of the planet. His images are of wildlife, in National Geographic style. Earth finder, as he calls himself, hides in bushes with a high-power zoom lens, shooting paparazzi portraits of beautiful birds and animals.

Yasuhiro Ogawa’s photos are reportage on people who are caught and captured in the middle of some important process in their life. Once he described it as seeing “thousands of faces; faces reflecting the situation of the people, who are in the midst of a strong transitional current.”

Photos by Kazutoshi Yoshimura are so colorful that candy comes to mind. He photographs different landscapes, including those that imply human life and have buildings or transport objects on them.

Ken Kitano’s ‘30 Geikos and Maikos Dancing the Special Kyo Dance’

© Courtesy of the Gallery of Classical Photography

Ken Kitano’s ‘30 Geikos and Maikos Dancing the Special Kyo Dance’

The Tokyo Twilight Zone series show districts of Shintaro Sato’s native East Tokyo, shot from the 10th floor of different buildings. Explaining them to japanexposes. com, he said that the area has many old houses chaotically next to new high-rise buildings. “But I feel a kind of power from this area, from this kind of disorder,” he said.

Sato said that he was fascinated by the historical power of this area, which people had to rebuild after World War II, when it was burnt to ashes. He generally prefers to play with colors and light at night, considering this time better to see everything, including “dark and light at the same time,” and the colors are brighter.

“From the light coming from each of the windows we can see signs of life more clearly than we can in the daytime, even though actual people cannot be seen in the photos,” he said.

People in Toshihiro Yashiro’s images are blurry and seem to be rapidly moving, while environments stand still. This looks so unusual that the trick and the idea behind it are not obvious straight away: Toshihiro put groups of people in different locations on twisting discs and made them spin so fast they look like little tornados in a photo. Initially it was something resembling psychotherapy: he took photos of himself spinning alone, which he explained as simplifying all the complicated things in life by uniting himself with the environment.

According to the gallery’s art director Yaroslav Amelin, the exhibition aims “to show the curious originality of Japanese visual art and to go beyond common perception of Japan’s inner world.”

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