IBASHO Gallery in Antwerp has extended the run of a popular show titled Female Force from Japan, an exhibition that gathers together the work of twelve noteworthy female photographers.

Torii on the Hill © Akiko Takizawa

Despite its specific frame on a subset of practitioners in Japan, the images in this exhibition capture a broad vision of life in the country. There are images that look at the world through a soft and delicate lens—Hiromi Kakimoto’s photographs from “Dream World,” for example, one of which features multi-colored pink balloons floating gently in a room illuminated with bright but velvety light. Contrasted to this aesthetic, however, are images from Tokyo Rumando’s series “Orphee” (the cover of this article), which put on display a bold and unapologetic scrutiny of the female form. Rumando’s series contains a set of self-portraits printed in black and white, the strong lighting transforming her into a mysterious but powerful figure. Behind her, presented directly to the camera, is an unmistakable symbol of femalehood.

Little World 05 © Hiromi Kakimoto

These photographs convey a variety of styles, influences and desires in terms of what they want to accomplish. Women do have a different perspective on the world, but it’s easy to stop there and paint that perspective with a broad brush. Even the term “female photography” can be misleading, because it implies one linear route towards a conception of “female” art: one style, one variation on the “standard” (that is, male photography).

Fluorita Fantasia © Yukari Chikura

This collection of photos goes a step beyond such a framework and instead presents the viewer with an eye-opening array of approaches that are all collected under the umbrella of photography created by women. As the show proves, female photography is manifold, varied, complex, and difficult to pin down. It’s soft and colorful, but also direct—even jarring—and monochrome. The value of this exhibition lies in its ability to bring all of these different visions together; shoulder to shoulder, they illuminate the breadth and power of work created by women in Japan.

Untitled from The Restoration Will © Mayumi Suzuki

The exhibition includes several photographers who have published full series on LensCulture in the past:

Yukari ChikuraZaido and Fluorite Fantasia
Mayumi SuzukiThe Restoration Will
Miho Kajiokaas it is and Layers
Kumi Oguro#1 (Noise) and Waking Images from Dreams

If you can’t make it to Antwerp, you can explore some of the inspiring work from “Female Force from Japan” in the articles above; we are also including all of the photographers’ websites below, which you can access by clicking on their names. Enjoy!

—LensCulture

Female Force from Japan will be on view at IBASHO in Antwerp, Belgium until September 3, 2017. The exhibition includes work by Yukari Chikura, Mikiko Hara, Yoko Ikeda, Miho Kajioka, Hiromi Kakimoto, Mika Horie, Miki Nitadori, Kumi Oguro, Tokyo Rumando, Reiko Imoto, Mayumi Suzuki and Akiko Takizawa.