The History of Japanese Photography (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)
by Anne Tucker
Publisher's Description
Amazon.com Review
Except for the rare international superstar like Araki Nobuyoshi, known for his gamy shots of nude young women, Japanese photography is a closed book to Westerners. Yet it has a distinguished and vital tradition that has enriched every genre, from portraits to landscapes, with a unique blend of lyricism and candor. In The History of Japanese Photography, a wealth of captivating images and essays by seven scholars trace 140 years of stylistic and cultural evolution. In 1857 a local ruler had his portrait taken with a daguerreotype set brought to Nagasaki by a foreign ship. Eleven years later, official photographs of the emperor--never glimpsed in person by his subjects—became widely available. Photographers were increasingly called upon to document new Japanese territories, natural disasters, and wars. Visitors hankered after studio shots of geishas and other exotica. Beginning in the 1890s, upper-class amateur photographers contributed a new emphasis on aesthetics. In the 1930s exquisite Pictorialist images of natural beauty gave way to modernist influences from Berlin and Moscow, and then—in wartime—to a conservative emphasis on traditional rural life. Individual expression dominated postwar photography, as seen in such images as Tomatsu Shomei’s haunting "Beer bottle after the atomic bomb explosion." Recent work reflects the dislocations of urban consumer society. Beautifully produced, with 356 color illustrations, this groundbreaking volume accompanies an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (March 2-April 27, 2003) that travels to the Cleveland Museum of Art (May 18-July 27, 2003). —Cathy Curtis
ISBN: 0300099258
Publisher: Yale University Press
Hardcover : 432 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 1.5 x 12 x 9.5 inches
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