Ibasyo on the book review of Asahi Shimbun newspaper

New book "Ibasyo" had a book review on Asahi Shimbun Newspaper. This is probably the most influential book review in Japan. The reviewer was Shigeki Noya, a former professor of Philosophy at University of Tokyo.

Ibasyo project on Asahi Shimbun newspaper

Asahi Shimbun newspaper recently published an article about my long-term project "Ibasyo" and the book while I was giving back the traveling book and the published book to Hiromi, one of the girls I photographed during this project.

New title “Ibasyo“ book exhibition

I would like to invite you to the new exhibition "Ibasyo", the new title published from Kousakusha Publishing house.

This exhibition focus on the photo book "Ibasyo". This is not an ordinary photo exhibition. My focus is to tell the story thorough the journey that I have gone through while making this project as a book form. Hope you enjoy this little different exhibition than a normal photo exhibition.

There is an opening event on April 21st from 6pm. Please come visit if you are in Kansai area.

Venue: Mirage Gallery(map
Address: 3-9-10-303, Kitanagasadori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, 650-0012, JAPAN
Date: April 21st - May 6th, 2018
Web: www.miragegallery.jp
Email: ayaka@rokkophotofestival.com

“Ibasyo“ book launch

I am delighted to announce that we will have a book launch event for my new title "Ibasyo" on March 24th (sat), 2018 at Rokujigen, in Tokyo. You will also be able to puarchase this new title at the event, little earlier than the books stores.

I have been working on the book "Ibasyo", a long-term project on young Japanese girls who had been suffering sel-harm. I have started this project in 2004. The project has transformed into  different form not only photographing but also the way to return something to the subject.

At the book launch, I will be talking about this 14 years project; how I came across with this project, the process during shooting, about the book journey project, then the process of book making etc

Please come visit if you are in Tokyo area.

"Ibasyo" book launch
Date: March 24, 2018 (sat)
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Entry fee: 1500 Yen
Venue: Rokujigen(3 minutes walk from Ogikubo station of JR Chuo Line → 地図
Address: 2F, 1-10-3 Kamiogi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 167-0043
Booking: Email the number of seats you want to book to
Web: http:
Email: rokujigen_ogikubo@yahoo.co.jp

Exhibition at Polka Galerie in Paris

Some of the works from the latest series "Rhapsody in the dark" will be exhibited as a part of collective show at Polka Galerie in Paris.

One of my works exhibited is with 90 prints all printed by my hands in the darkroom with traditional technic put together in 120x80cm frame. This will be the unique edition.

The collective exhibition "Land of the Islands",  conceived as a photographic trip around the theme of insularity. The invited photographers will dialogue for the occasion, exploring the roots and the poetic identity of a series of universes open on the ocean but curled up on themselves. Tiny pitches, islands-continent. Secret atolls, languages of the earth. From the largest island in the world - Greenland - to the Island of Beauty - Corsica - through the Cyclades, Sicily, Iceland, Stromboli, Okinawa, the Faroe Islands and Lofoten, Madagascar, New Guinea , Hokkaido and the Galapagos, the walls of Polka are transformed into an archipelago.

The exhibition is there until March 3rd, 2018. Please stop by Polka Galerie if you are in Paris.

[ Artists exhibited ]
Carmelo Bongiorno
Bernard Cantié
William Klein
Daido Moriyama
Sebastião Salgado
Joakim Eskildsen
Claude Nori
Jacob Aue Sobol
Kosuke Okahara

Interview on RFI


My interview on the current exhibition "Rhapsody in the dark" is on Radio France International's Atelier des Media.

It's all written in French. Maybe online translation can be a help for those who don't read French.

Atelier des Medias

Exhibition “Rhapsody in the dark” in Saint-Brieuc


The latest exhibition "Rhapsody in the dark" is now open at Festival Photoreporter as a part of the collective project "Unrest" in Saint-Brieuc France. Thanks to the Festival Photoreporter and Maps agency for the kind invitation to this project.

The installation is in a small cube with more than 150 photos and 60 contacts sheets.

The wall has no blanks space, and on the floor is a projection of the sea surrounding Okinawa in order to create the space without way out, which is actually what Okinawa is. Violence has always been seen in Okinawa in different forms. Now I am throwing this violence onto the audience in an enclosed space in order to force them to experience such lives. We can talk about Okinawa from a distance, but real life is where people are tangled in its harsh reality and history.

The exhibition is there until November 5th, 2017. Please stop by Le Carré Rosengart in Saint-Brieuc if you have a chance.

Artists’ books exhibition opening in Munich


Attended the opening of the exhibition on Art Books at Bavarian State Library / Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich.

Vanishing Existence (scroll one) is a part of this show as it is a part of their collection. it's quite amazing to see the book I made next to Picasso

The exhibition continues until Janaury 2018. Please visit if you happen to be in Munich. Putting myself aside, it's an amazing collection of Art books, not only photography but the works of historical artists.

Big thanks to Beatrice Hernad, the curator of the libarary and the show and her colleagues !

Ibasyo book journey project on NY Times lens blog

"Ibasyo" one of my long-term photographic and book project, is featured on New York Times - Lens blog. 

NY Times article about "Ibasyo" book journey project on Lens Blog

> following is the explanation of this book journey project.

Ibasyo Project
The Ibasyo project is a photographic project that documents the lives of six young Japanese girls who suffer from self-harm. In Japanese, ibasyo refers to the physical and emotional space where one can exist.

Domestic violence, rape, and bullying are some of the reasons behind self-harm. For better or for worse, the “culture of shame”, inherent in Japanese society, has prevented these stories from being told. Domestic violence seems to be prevalent in many families and rape is quite commonplace, yet self-harm victims choose to remain silent. Deep emotional wounds have robbed these girls of their self-esteem. Faced with depression and panic attack disorders, they are unable to live a normal existence. They cannot appreciate their own value, and therefore, believe they are worthless. For these girls, harming themselves is a form of self-punishment for perceived notions of worthlessness, while also easing their anxiety and stress. And so, such destructive behavior has become the way for these girls to reaffirm their own existence. However, when they see their scars, the girls despise themselves more for what they have done. Like the Möbius strip, the cycle is endless. The girls have found it difficult to feel their ibasyo. While the girls don’t justify their acts, the existence of self-harm reflects one of the darker side of Japan’s modern society.

Book Journey Project
For years, I have been trying to publish Ibasyo as a book, but I did not quite succeed. Eventually, I began to rethink and reflect on the original aims I had for this project.

The first aim was to tell the story of these girls. I hope that their stories can serve as a window into the world of those who suffer from self-harm. Also all of the girls I photographed told me that they want to see themselves through someone else’s eyes. It can help them reevaluate themselves. Before they told me that, I could not have imagined that the pictures I took might be of any help.

While I was photographing the girls, I realized that all of them faced the same challenge of not being able to develop their self-esteem. This is due to the trauma that they experienced at various points of their lives. But, if the girls know that other people out there in the world care about them and their stories, then maybe this could be a small step for them to re-develop their self-esteem. In a way, this might sound a little patronizing, but I want the girls to feel that they are important. This is the second aim of the Ibasyo project.

Although both aims are important to me, I now believe that it is not enough to just publish Ibasyo into a book and distribute it. I feel that above all else, to help the girls I photographed should be of first and foremost importance.

As a photographer, I believe that keeping people informed is important. Through my photography, I try my best to commit myself to accomplish this task. However, another part of me, the ordinary person part of me, cannot disagree with what people often say about photographers: that we are making a living on someone else’s grief. I know that I am not as idealistic a person as I was when I first began taking photographs. However, I still want to see what I can do for the people that I photographed. This is why I made this book.

– What I want to do –
I have made six copies of this book. What you will have in your hands is one of the six books. The second half of the books are blank pages. I kindly ask you to write anything you feel. It can be just a thought about the pictures, or a message to the girls, or anything you wish to write down. Even a very short text is fine. I appreciate your kindness.

After letting the books float around for a certain amount of time, I want to bring these six books back to the six girls I photographed, so that they can see there are people out there who recognizes their existence.

– Tangibility –
Since the books will travel around and many different hands will hold and flip through the books, there will most certainly be signs of wear. I think these traces are tangible evidences that people recognizes the story and existence of these girls. The important thing is that, when the girls receive their books, they can then actually touch and feel the traces that viewer of the books have left behind.