Japan Fashion Photo 2011

When 8 Sep 2011 - 24 Sep 2011
Where hpgrp gallery NY
529 West 20th St. 2W
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry 212 727 2491

Courtesy of hpgrp gallery NY

September 8 – 24 2011

Opening Reception and Performance: September 8, 7 – 8pm

Press Release:

In conjunction with New York Fashion Week in the fall of 2011, hpgrp gallery NY will mount an exhibition of fashion photography highlighting the work of the premiere emerging photographers in Japan. Opening on September 8, the show will be curated by Jiro Ishikawa, the former editor-in-chief of Brutus, a renowned men’s magazine, who will choose images that highlight the best work being shown in Japanese publications today. Focusing on the inextricable link between Japanese editorial and fine arts photography, the exhibition will migrate to ROOMSLINK Tokyo for a four-day event in October.

Throughout modern history, photography and publishing have always had a symbiotic relationship. In the United States, editorial magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Life and Vanity Fair made the careers of photographers such as Many Ray, Richard Avedon, Annie Liebowitz, Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber. Their work, which originally appeared in the glossy pages of monthly fashion magazines, went on to be displayed at museums and cultural institutions around the world. Both commercial and fine arts photographers, they have become central figures in the history of photography in the twentieth century.

While photographers in the Western World are frequently able to bridge the gap between commercial and fine arts photography, the two disciplines are not completely intertwined. Many iconic photographers, including Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, and contemporary super stars such as Andreas Gursky, Ryan McGinley and Gregory Crewdson, work outside of the editorial and advertising realm. While they occasionally appear in mass media, it is the world of galleries, museums, and non-profit institutions that support and bolster their careers.

In Japan, however, the boundaries between editorial and fine arts photography are less clearly defined—a Japanese photographer must have his or her work in magazines in order to become established both inside of Japan, and on the international art market. In such a system, where the publishing world is of central importance to fine arts photography, the editor of a magazine fills the role of curator, critic and dealer all at once. It is the editor who discovers and fosters the talent, thereby becoming the harbinger for the future success of an artist.

There are thousands of publications that are released on a monthly basis in Japan. Unlike the United States, where the major magazines and newspapers—The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, Vogueand Vanity Fair, for example—have an enormous monthly circulation of more than two million readers, the most successful Japanese publications normally only have, at most, a few hundred thousand readers. This means that there are a larger number of editors who have less universal reach, but more ability to speak to (and influence) niche sectors of the Japanese population. The sheer number of these editors, who are picking from a wide pool of talented photographers, allows for a much broader spectrum of taste.

These publications include Brutus, a magazine for men covering style and culture; Foil, a publication devoted entirely to emerging and established photographers; Bungeishunjū, a literary and political publications founded in 1923; Marco Polo, a current affairs publications; 25ans, a fashion magazine for women; and Vogue Japan, an offshoot of the iconic American publication.

Within the pages of these magazines have appeared the images of both established Japanese photographers such as Daido Moriyama, Kishin Shinoyama and Nobuyoshi Araki, and an increasingly influential crop of emerging artists including Rinko Kawauchi, Sakiko Nomura, and Syoin Kajii. Influenced by fashion, art history, and the natural world, their work is marked by an aesthetic that has been carefully curated by the powerful web of editors, writers, and magnates that make up the publishing industry in Japan.

The exhibition at hpgrp gallery NY will highlight the best photographs published due to the collaborative relationships between artists and editors, as well as define the role of the publishing industry in establishing the narrative for the history of contemporary Japanese photography.

For more information please click here.