In the 1930s the history of Japanese photography evolved in two very different directions: one toward documentary photography, the other favoring an experimental, or avant-garde, approach strongly influenced by Western Surrealism. This book explores these two strains of modern Japanese photography through the work of two remarkable photographers: Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto.
Hiroshi Hamaya (1915–1999) was born and raised in Tokyo and, after an initial period of creative experimentation, turned his attention to recording traditional life and culture on the coast of the Sea of Japan. In 1940 he began photographing the New Year’s rituals in a remote village, which was published as Yukiguni (Snow country). He went on to record cultural changes in China, political protests in Japan, and landscapes around the world.
“Japan’s Modern Divide” reads, ultimately, as a study in contrasting attitudes toward time and reality, with Hamaya operating in the concrete realm of tradition and action, and Yamamoto striving to convey the emergent, what lies beneath and within the pulsing present. Hamaya’s work is wakeful reality to Yamamoto’s dissonant dream, his photographs prose-like answers to Yamamoto’s elusive questions.” Leah Ollman (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/22/entertainment/la-et-cm-japan-photography-20130623)
Kansuke Yamamoto (1914–1987) became fascinated by the innovative approaches in art and literature exemplified by such Western artists as Man Ray, René Magritte, and Yves Tanguy. He promoted Surrealist and avant-garde ideas in Japan through his poetry, paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
“Japan’s Modern Divide is a beautiful book with beautiful images and informative, accessible essays on the work of both Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto. It is an old-school catalogue that is a welcome addition to any collection and is highly recommended as both a valuable resource on the history of Japanese photography and the development of photographic movements in the decades preceding and following the Second World War”. Colin Pantall (http://www.photoeye.com/magazine/reviews/2013/07_18_Japans_Modern_Divide_The_Photographs_of_Hiroshi_Hamaya_and_Kansuke_Yamamoto.cfm)
Please note: All images and texts are protected by Copyright and belong to the Artist.