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Welcome to the second issue of the Trans-Asia Photography Review. You can still access the first issue in the “Archive”. In the second issue, we have been able to expand the number of images published and have improved their visual presentation. You will find three new curatorial projects: Japanese Ambrotypes, curated by Geoffrey Batchen, Yoshiaki Kai and Masashi Kohara; Hong Kong Photographer Series #1, curated by Wong Wo Bik; and The Long Bien Picture Show, curated by Jamie Maxtone-Graham.
We are also pleased to present essays by independent scholars Terry Bennett and Zhuang Wubin. With the study of photography from Asia still a nascent field, the pioneering work of independent researchers has been invaluable. Terry Bennett has been collecting and researching 19th Century East Asian photography since 1980; his essay here brings to light the work of a little known American photographer, John Gulick, working in the 1860’s in Japan. Zhuang Wubin, based in Singapore, has been intensively researching contemporary photography throughout Southeast Asia for over four years; his essay on contemporary photography in Thailand is an excerpt from a larger forthcoming book project that will cover photography in the ten ASEAN countries.
In our Focal Point section, which highlights the work of non-profit photographic organizations, we are delighted to publish a profile of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi, India. The Alkazi Foundation, which houses the Alkazi Collection of over 90,000 historic photographs, is a vital organization fostering new research on photography in India. Focal Point Editor Abby Robinson interviewed curator Rahaab Allana, who is initiating exciting projects at the Foundation.
We are also most fortunate to be able to offer a frank personal interview, conducted by Hyewon Yi, with the influential contemporary Japanese photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki.
Please visit our Resources page, where Reviews and Resources Editor Raymond Lum continues to expand his annotated links to a wide array of relevant websites. Thanks to Dr. Lum’s work, we continue to offer book reviews written by accomplished scholars, and an updated list of “Recent Publications of Note”.
And finally, in addition to publishing abstracts of symposia, we are including, in this issue, reports on two symposia – one, a report by Geoffrey Batchen on the Facing Asia conference held at the National Gallery of Australia in August, and the other, a commentary by Mikiko Hirayama on the Transcultural Visuality panel at the College Art Association conference in February.
Looking to fall 2011, our third issue will be guest edited by Dr. Ayelet Zohar, with the working title “The Evasive/Elusive Portrait”. Dr. Zohar, a scholar of East Asian visual cultures, will be organizing the issue around themes of mimicry, masquerade and camouflage in contemporary portrait photography from Korea, Japan and China. This will be an issue to look forward to!
And our fourth issue, forthcoming in spring 2012, will feature research on the historic contributions of women to photography in all parts of Asia. This important topic is in urgent need of more attention. Please contact us with proposals for essays or curatorial projects relating to this theme as soon as possible.
Many thanks to the authors, photographers and curators who contributed their work to this issue of the TAP Review. Heartfelt thanks as well to the peer reviewers who anonymously contributed their time and expertise, and to the many other individuals who helped in myriad ways.
As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Sandra Matthews, Editor