The Contemporary Japanese Photography exhibition has been held since 2002 with the goal of offering support to people with creative spirits who strive to expand the possibilities of photography and the moving image, discovering promising new artists, and providing a venue for new artistic endeavors. The 2020 event, the 17th in the series, has the themes of “light as symbol” and “the power to transcend the here and now,” and presents works by five innovative artists or groups (six people in all) working with photography or video.
We live in an era of rapid social change, an era in which existing models and conventional value systems are in constant flux. As we grope toward an uncertain future, it is often difficult for people to form clear visions of that future and hold on to their hopes and ambitions. In times like these, art has the potential to shine light into the darkness, bestowing the intuitive power to see through webs of complexity, and the vitality we need to move toward tomorrow.
Light is many things: an essential element of photography and video, a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, and a symbol of hope. The artists featured in this exhibition make light itself a crucial element of their work, developing their own highly original visions of the world around them and presenting them as works of visual art. These works not only hold mirrors up to reality, they also embody unique worldviews, conveying ways of grasping and interpreting a constantly changing present. They are sure to resonate in viewers’ hearts and minds in diverse ways and may deliver fresh insights into our future and ways of facing it.
We hope that from the photographic and video works by these five up-and-coming artists or groups (six individuals in all), viewers will absorb the power to transcend the here and now and envision a future beyond, which in our current world, overflowing with light yet immersed in uncertainty, is more necessary than ever.