Category Archives: Women of Japan

Hanashiro Ikuko: Fleeting Visions

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Laurie says:

Hanashiro Ikuko

FLEETING VISIONS

(Photograph taken by Maretsugu Furugen)

my father in the old family photo
古い家族写真に映っている父の姿

an old woman praying in the woods
森で祈っている老女

burnt cars in the street
ストリートの焼け焦げた車両

although I don’t really remember
はっきりと覚えているわけではないけれど

I know that these visions actually passed through the pupil
and reached the center of my eye
それらは確かに、瞳孔に焼付いたビジョン

because they were so vivid
I could even smell something burning
あまりにも鮮明だったので
焦げ付いた匂いさえも、脳裏にかすめたのだった

scents of the incense, moist earth and woods
線香、湿った土の匂い、そして森の木々の香り

people set fire to the parked cars, burned them down
人々は車両に火を放ち、焼き尽くした

because they were very angry
何故なら彼らは怒り狂っていたから

I stared at them
私は彼らを凝視した

I stared at them because
なぜなら

I wanted to see the people’s
faces in the crowd
見たかったのだ、群衆の、彼らの表情を

faces in a rage
怒りに震えた顔を

as the time passed by
the images blurred
時は流れ、記憶は色褪せ、

I thought they are gone
もう忘れてしまっていたのだと思っていた

they completely vaporized from my head
すっかりと頭の中から昇華してしまったのだと

but they occasionally come back to me
しかし、時折それらは蘇って来る

they flash at the back of my mind
私の頭の奥で

I feel that
私は感じるのだ

they’re still with me
あの記憶は未だ私の中にあるのだ

fleeting visions in me
泡沫のビジョンが、私の中に

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

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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.
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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.

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postnobills-natal-sanmiguel

“Post No Bills” – Ruben Natal, San Miguel

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joyfulvision-zaslov

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

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sunday-february-14th-smyth

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

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meandmyselfsantucci

“Me and Myself ” – Elena Santucci