Recent Publications of Note
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Anne Nishimura Morse and Anne E. Havinga, In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11 (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 2015). An exhibition catalog of photographs of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which struck on 11 March 2011. The earthquake caused enormous destruction and damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Seventeen photographers are represented in the catalog. “Taken as a whole, their work explores the way art provides a powerful language for reflecting on tragic events and contributing to human recovery [MFA Preview, March/April 2015].”
Munemasa Takahashi, Tsunami, Photographs, and Then: Lost & Found Project (Tokyo: Akaaka, 2014). The Lost & Found Project was undertaken by volunteers recruited by a Japanese university. The volunteers cleaned and scanned family photographs recovered from the wreckage for the purpose of returning them to their owners. Photographs too heavily damaged for repair became the focus of an exhibition by Munemasa Takahashi to raise funds for tsunami survivors.
Yoshikatsu Fujii, Red String (Tokyo: Yoshikatsu Fujii, 2014). The title refers to a Japanese legend in which two lovers were born with their fingers tied to each other’s with red string. This volume consists of two separate but related books documenting, with family photos, text, and photographs, the lives of the author’s parents and the dissolution of their marriage. The two books can be flipped through either separately or as a whole.
Yuji Hamada, Photographs (Tokyo: Lemon Books, 2014). The photographer attached a hose to his car’s exhaust and then photographed sunny, early-morning views through the resulting haze.
Kazuma Obara, Silent Histories (Kyoto: Kazuma Obara, 2014). The lives of six of the hundreds of thousands Japanese injured by U.S. bombing during World War II are documented through their personal archives and snapshots, class photos, and views of Japanese cities in 1945 and today and recent photographs of each of the six subjects. Interspersed are replicas of government-issued disability cards and wartime magazines.
Daisuke Yokota 横田大輔, Vertigo (Tokyo: Newfave, 2014), 96 p. Working with analogue photographic materials, the photographer prints from negatives built up with dust, scratches, stray emulsion, and flash images of nudes, clouds, and nighttime landscapes. Some are printed as gate-fold panoramas.
Daisuke Yokota 横田大輔 , Toransupearento (Tokyo: Newfave, 2014). The photos in this ring-bound book are all printed on transparent paper alternating with white paper and colored vinyl pages.
Matsue Taiji 松江泰治 , jp0205 (Tokyo: Seigensha, 2013), 122 p. The title refers to the Japanese prefectures Aomori, designated “02,” and Akita, designated “05.” The photographs were made from a helicopter. This is two books in one, the English-language version opening left to right and the Japanese-language version opening right to left.
Daniel Garrett, Counter-hegemonic Resistance in China’s Hong Kong: Visualising Protest in the City (Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2015). “This book and associated collection of visual data and sociological observations examine how the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has been visually re-imagined, transformed, and utilized by its subalterns in the post-Handover period to reproduce their aspirations and demands for greater democracy and social justice while simultaneously contesting the hegemonic pressure exerted by China under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ ideology. It provides a rich visual description and narrative of how Hong Kong’s many repressed social and political actors have struggled to make their voices heard under its competitive authoritarian political system. The book addresses the growing scholarly interest in the visual analysis of global protests and social movements as salient sources of sociological data and on the creation of meaning. By innovatively tackling the visual culture and visuality of subaltern resistance in Hong Kong it contributes to our understanding of contentious SAR-China politics and the New Social Movement, and will be of great interest to Hong Kong, resistance, social movement, and visual studies scholars [from Spinger’s website, Feb. 2015].” Includes several photo essays.
Yasufumi Nakamori, For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979 (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 2015). “The late 1960s and early 1970s marked a period of political and social turmoil in Japan. The country was struggling to forge a new identity on the world stage, and Japanese artists were seeking a medium that could adequately respond to these uncertain times. For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979 explores in depth, for the first time, the role of photography in the formation of Contemporary art in Japan [source: Museum of Fine Arts Houston website, Feb. 2015].”
Kuwahara Kineo 桑原甲子雄, Kuwahara Kino no shashin: Tōkyō suketchi 60-nen Link桑原甲子雄の写真 : トーキョー・スケッチ60年 =Kineo Kuwabara’s Photographs: Tokyo Sketches of 60 years (Tokyo: Setagaya Bijutsukan, 2014), 159 p. (Selected Works from the Collection of Setagaya Art Museum)
Calvin Hui, Julian Lee (Hong Kong: AsiaOne, 2014), 210 p. “Julian uses the male form as his canvas,” says director of Fine Art Asia, Calvin Hui who wrote the preface of Lee’s exhibition. ‘As Michelangelo adorned the vast halls of Italy with sensuality created from perfect abdominal muscles, so too does Julian. Julian Lee, rebellious? No, just honest with his sexuality.’” [source: Arthur Tam at http://www.timeout.com.hk/gay-lesbian/features/69496/photographer-julian-lee.html]. Part of the series Hong Kong/China Photographers Eight.
Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image / Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia/ PhotoTime Present: Photography from The Deutche Bank Collection/Image & Illusion: Video Works from the Yokohama Museum of Art (Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, 2014), 108 p. Three books published collectively as Still Moving: A Triple Bill on the Image form a tripartite exhibition catalog. “In Afterimage: Contemporary Photography from Southeast Asia, artists use non-traditional photographic techniques to articulate concerns about the cultural, political and social landscapes of the region. In Time Present: Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection, the works of renowned international artists show the multiple possibilities of photography in history over time [source: http://www.mccy.gov.sg/en/Events/2014/Oct/Still_Moving.aspx].” The third part features video works from the Yokohama Museum of Art.
Nicole Chabot and Michael Perini [photographs], Street Life in Hong Kong: Outdoor Workers in Their Own Words (Hong Kong: Blacksmith Books, 2014), 248 p. Twenty-four people who work on Hong Kong’s streets—-as musician, flower seller, delivery man, construction foreman, etc.—-were interviewed for this work. Their words are supplemented with photographs of them plying their trades.
Ho Fan, A Hong Kong Memoir (Hong Kong: Asia One Books and Modern Books Editions, 2014) 128 p. “A Hong Kong Memoir completes the trilogy Fan Ho began with Hong Kong Yesterday and The Living Theatre. In his previous monographs, viewers were introduced to Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s.... A Hong Kong Memoir revisits this lost era with a combination of never before seen images and introduces new-montaged photographs...Ho Fan is a Fellow of the Photographic Society and the Royal Society of Arts in England, and an Honorary Member of the Photographic societies of Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy and Belgium [source: AsiaOne Books.com].”
Melissa Miles, “Through Japanese Eyes: Ichiro Kagiyama and Australian-Japanese Relations in the 1920s and 1930s,” History of Photography, vol. 38, issue 4, 2014, p. 356-378. “The activities of a little known Japanese photographer working in Sydney, Australia during the early to mid twentieth century sheds new light on the photographic connections between Australia and Japan...Working directly with Australian photographers and tastemakers at a time when the so-called White Australia policy defined Australia as a racially exclusive country, Kagiyama challenges expectations about the historical relationships between Australia and Japan. Kagiyama’s work also illustrates the interrelationships between diverse forms of photography practice, from art and commercial photography to espionage, as well as close connections between the worlds of art, design, international trade and photography in 1920s and 1930s Sydney. As Kagiyama’s photographs resist essentialist readings yet were framed when published by stereotypes of Japanese culture as traditional, feminine and decorative, they help to tease out a certain tension within Australian–Japanese relations in the lead up to the Second World War [source: History of Photography online].”
Nobuyoshi Araki, Araki Crazy Old A (Beijing: Hong Kong: Thircuir Books, 2014), 280 p. Part of the “Impossible Project” that aims to continue producing Polaroid-type instant film and photographs made with that film.
Tōhō Bunka Gakuin Kyōto Kenkyūjo. 東方文化學院 京都硏究所, Tōhō Bunka Gakuin kyūzō kenchiku shashin mokuroku = Catalogue of old architectural photos formerly owned by the Institute for Oriental Culture (Tōkyō-to Bunkyō-ku: Tōkyō Daigaku Tōyō Bunka Kenkyūjo Fuzoku Tōyōgaku Kenkyū Jōhō Sentā, Heisei 26  xiii, 349 p.
Alban von Stockhausen, Imag(in)ing the Nagas: The Pictorial Ethnography of Hans-Eberhad Kauffman and Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publisher, 2014) 452 pp. ISBN 978-3-89790-412-5. This publication opens up a fascinating insight into the culture of the Naga tribes in the Eastern foothills of the Himalayas. Based on around 400 historical photographs, the author reconstructs with scientific precision the encounters between the Nagas, the British colonial empire and two German-speaking explorers, their pictorial worlds and ideologies...the author reconstructs with scientific precision the encounters between the Nagas, the British colonial empire and two German-speaking explorers, their pictorial worlds and ideologies...The pictorial documentation of the tribe reached its peak in the 1930s, following the research expeditions by the Austrian ethnologist Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf and his German colleague Hans-Eberhard Kauffmann.
“The photographic heritage of Kauffmann, believed to be lost and then rediscovered by the author, is the focus of this publication. It attempts, by means of a detailed ‘pictorial ethnography’, to reconstruct the aesthetic and cultural reality of the Nagas in the 1930s, through the ethnographer’s lens. This is contextualised by Fürer Haimendorf’s photographs, alongside other sources. A detailed introduction presents the working practices and analyses the biographies of the two ethnographers and their political and ideological entanglements.” [Source: http://www.arnoldsche.com/en/Asian-and-African-Art/IMAG-IN-ING-THE-NAGAS.html]
Marianne Hulsbosch, Pointy Shoes and Pith Helmets: Dress and Identity Construction in Ambon from 1850-1940 (Leiden: Brill, 2014) 238 pp. ISBN 978-90-6718-339-0 “Drawing on extensive research, Hulsbosch explores dress and adornment of the Ambonese people of the Central Maluku Islands, in Indonesia, during the last century of Dutch colonial rule. She demonstrates how visual identity formation is a lived experience and an active, constant innovation that is not only a response to society, but simultaneously drives and shapes society. This long overdue text documents sartorial expression of the colonizer (the Dutch) and the colonized (the Ambonese) and investigates previously ignored history of indigenous and Western women living in a colonial context. This book is a visual feast designed and written to appeal to scholars and the general public alike.” [source: http://www.brill.com/products/book/pointy-shoes-and-pith-helmets]. Documented with photographs and other illustrations.
Michelle Caswell, Archiving the Unspeakable: Silence, Memory, and the Photographic Record in Cambodia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014) 246 pp. ISBN 978-0-299-29754-1 “Roughly 1.7 million people died in Cambodia from untreated disease, starvation, and execution during the Khmer Rouge reign of less than four years in the late 1970s. The regime’s brutality has come to be symbolized by the multitude of black-and-white mug shots of prisoners taken at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands of “enemies of the state” were tortured before being sent to the Killing Fields. In Archiving the Unspeakable, Michelle Caswell traces the social life of these photographic records through the lens of archival studies and elucidates how, paradoxically, they have become agents of silence and witnessing, human rights and injustice as they are deployed at various moments in time and space. From their creation as Khmer Rouge administrative records to their transformation beginning in 1979 into museum displays, archival collections, and databases, the mug shots are key components in an ongoing drama of unimaginable human suffering.” [source: http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5210.htm]
Xu Yong, Negatives 底片(Hong Kong: New Century Press, 2015) 70 pp. ISBN 978-9881329547. The 64 negatives printed in this book that is banned in China represent the numbers 6 and 4, an allusion to the fourth day of the sixth month, or June 4, 1989, the date of the violent government crackdown on student protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Xu Yong, an established photographer, denies any political intent in publishing a selection of his long-hidden negatives taken during the event. China’s official stance on the so-called “June 4th Incident” varies significantly from reports made outside of China and discussion of it within China is censored. Thus, publication of these negatives is a provocative undertaking. Use of a smart phone to view the negatives printed in the book allows viewing them as positive images in color (go to settings>general>accessibility>invert colors).
Susie Protschky, ed., Photography, Modernity and the Governed in Late-colonial Indonesia (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press & International Institute for Asian Studies, 2015) 280 pp. ISBN 978 90 8964 662 0. “This powerful study examines how contested notions of modernity, civilisation and being governed were envisioned through photography in early twentieth-century Indonesia when a reform programme known as the Ethical Policy was being implemented under the Dutch colonial regime. This is the first work to examine 'ethical' ways of seeing through photography, a medium whose proliferation coincided with significant social and political change in colonial Indonesia [from publisher’s website].”
Paul Bijl, Emerging Memory. Photographs of Colonial Atrocity in Dutch Colonial Remembrance (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press & International Institute for Asian Studies, 2015) 258 pp. ISBN 978 90 8964 590 6 “This incisive volume brings together postcolonial studies, visual culture and cultural memory studies to explain how the Netherlands continues to rediscover its history of violence in colonial Indonesia [from publisher’s website].”
Ars Orientalis 43 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 2013) is devoted to Asian portrait photography and consists of the ten articles following Nancy Micklewright’s preface:
Mary Roberts, “Ottoman Statecraft and the ‘Pencil of Nature’: Photography, Painting, and Drawing at the Court of Sultan Abdülaziz”
Ali Behdad, “Royal Portrait Photography in Iran: Constructions of Masculinity, Representations of Power”
Holly Edwards, “Photography and Afghan Diplomacy in the Early Twentieth Century”
John Clark, “Presenting the Self: Pictorial and Photographic Discourses in Nineteenth-century Dutch Indies and Siam”
Maurizio Peleggi, “The Aesthetics and Politics of Royal Portraiture in Thailand”
Christine Kim, “Korean Royal Portraits in the Colonial Archives”
Maki Fukuoka, “Handle with Care: Shaping the Official Image of the Emperor in Early Meiji Japan”
Yi Gu, “Prince Chun through the Lens: Negotiating the Photographic Medium in Royal Images”
Roberta Wue, “The Mandarin at Home and Abroad: Picturing Li Hongzhang”
Ying-chen Peng, “Lingering between Tradition and Innovation: Photographic Portraits of Empress Dowager Cixi”
Claire Roberts, “The Empress Dowager’s Birthday: The Photographs of Cixi’s Long Life Without End”