Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan
Christopher Phillips and Noriko Fuku
Japanese contemporary artists have mined some distinctive territory in the past decade or two--from the Superflat movement, to the referencing of traditional art objects like scrolls or contemporary pop phenomena like manga. Within these conventions, certain themes continually surface--nature in conflict with the manmade world, costuming and the search for personal identity and the child as cultural icon. Heavy Light identifies these themes as they are evidenced in recent Japanese photo-based art, and examines how they are reshaping Japanese tradition. This volume is published in conjunction with the major Spring 2008 exhibition at New York's International Center of Photography, which includes a diverse selection of artists: 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. Also featured in this volume are extensive interviews with the artists, offering accounts of their working methods and their thoughts on the influence of contemporary art on Japanese culture during the last several decades of rapid change. In addition, art historian Linda Nochlin and writer Akiko Otake provide invaluable essays.