Category Archives: Women of Japan

Hanashiro Ikuko: Fleeting Visions


Laurie says:

Hanashiro Ikuko


(Photograph taken by Maretsugu Furugen)

my father in the old family photo

an old woman praying in the woods

burnt cars in the street

although I don’t really remember

I know that these visions actually passed through the pupil
and reached the center of my eye

because they were so vivid
I could even smell something burning

scents of the incense, moist earth and woods

people set fire to the parked cars, burned them down

because they were very angry

I stared at them

I stared at them because

I wanted to see the people’s
faces in the crowd

faces in a rage

as the time passed by
the images blurred

I thought they are gone

they completely vaporized from my head

but they occasionally come back to me

they flash at the back of my mind

I feel that

they’re still with me

fleeting visions in me

The art work and the poem are by Hanashiro Ikuko, an Okinawan artist who I photographed for Women of Japan. We bonded around our work and our cats. “Fleeting Visions” is from a 2014 exhibition in Okinawa that I recently saw for the first time. I am inspired by her visual art and her words. She wrote a wonderful text “The Experience of Looking at Myself in the Photograph as an Object” for Women of Japan. Ikuko’s personal exhibitions, and numerous group exhibitions, have been held so far at various sites, including Okinawa, Okayama (mainland Japan), Canada and Argentina.

You can see the other beautiful two images from “Fleeting Visions” here.

I took her portrait at her loom in her studio in Okinawa.

Fumiko Nakamura’s Photo in Budapest Portraiture Exhibition


Laurie says:

Since all my major books and projects have been portraiture, I was especially pleased to have my portrait of Fumiko Nakamura in the exhibition “Portraiture” at the PH21 Gallery in Budapest.

Portraiture emerged as one of the most prominent genres of depictive media early in the history of the visual arts, and the tacit or explicit rules, conventions and cultural expectations have always influenced the ways by which artists approached the genre. Photography is no exception; numerous different and characteristic styles of portraiture emerged throughout the history of the medium. Today we live in an exciting new era for portraiture. There has never been a time in human history when so many portraits were produced day after day as in the era of digital technologies. Photographers have responded to the cultural, social and technological changes by reinterpreting the age-old genre of portraiture, and it is always an exciting and rewarding task to organize an exhibition for some of the recent achievements in the field.

PH21 Gallery.

Nahamura Fumiko..

I met Fumiko Nakamura through Okinawa Women Act Against [US] Military Violence while working on my Women of Japan suite. She was a filmmaker and peace activist who retired after 40 years as a school teacher to found the non-profit Ichi Feet to document the horrors of the battle of Okinawa and the subsequent suffering.

The photos in the PH21 exhibition are exceptional both in the variety of the images and the very different concepts of portraiture. The choice between them was really impossible. I very much like the images below and would strongly recommend that you see the whole show.



“Post No Bills” – Ruben Natal, San Miguel



“Joyful Vision” – Mara Zaslove, from series “Lifecycle”



“Sunday, 14 February – South Harlem, New York City” –  Jonathan David Smyth, from series “Just One More”



“Me and Myself ” – Elena Santucci