Artwork by YUSUKE HANAI
Sept. 05 - Oct. 02, Main Bar
Since I was a very young boy, I have always loved to draw, but becoming an artist or an illustrator never even crossed my mind. My friends and I used to draw caricatures of interesting people that we encountered in our daily lives, and shared these images amongst ourselves for a laugh. I discovered surfing when I was in high school, when the older neighborhood surfers took me to the beach. The surfers that I encountered were all quite unique, extremely funny and sometimes utterly ridiculous. These strange characters fascinated me. They became the subject of many of my drawings.This show is the interesting, and often ridiculous aspects of surfing. I have learned so much from surfing and surfers and so there exists a plethora of interesting themes to work from. I love their individuality, how they live life with a passion, how they care about the environment, how they carry a sense of adventure, how they care deeply about their friends, how they care about their local environment, and how they try not to get caught up dragged into the system. This exhibition features illustrations I made for Surfer’s Journal along with other recent pieces.Yusuke Hanai has been exhibited in Australia, Brazil, California, London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. His artwork is featured in BEAMS, VANS, NIXON, GRAVIS...etc.
The Exhibitions Committee
Main Bar (April 01 - May 05, 2017)
Our trip to Pyongyang consisted almost entirely of carefully scheduled activities, with guides that rarely left our side outside of the hotel. Still, it was a rare opportunity to observe the people in this reclusive country and to think about their lives.
The disconnection from the outside world is palpable. In this city, time and space are defined by propaganda-driven activities like visits to monuments and performances. The enormous clockwork mechanism of mass dance practices and labor duties to serve the nation never ceases to spin. It is fascinating, and not a little unsettling.
The city planning is monolithic, with apartment block after apartment block stretching out in an order so neat and structured it continues to haunt the mind. Advertising and other signs of commercial activity are extremely rare. The ever-present contrast between tightly restricted self-expression and an over-enthusiasm to defend government propaganda challenges our concepts of freedom and personal fulfillment. Here, one must at all times be of a single body and mind with the regime.
Is this loyalty sincere or a product of fear? Many of the people we encountered seemed curious about us, yet were scared to look at us for long. Did they - could they - imagine other ways of life?
Eight days was a short time to discover Pyongyang, yet it was a life-changing experience. It challenged everything I knew and took for granted.
On this journey, I learned something about the complexity of the human condition and about what everyday life can look like in places very different from those we know. I hope my photographs will inspire thought, not only about the lives of the citizens of Pyongyang but also about the feelings and preconceptions that we harbor within ourselves.
Ciel Liu / Photographer, Freelance Producer and Documentary Filmmaker
Ciel started her career as a reporter for the mandarin television channels in Singapore. After the completion of her MA in Photography and Electronic Arts, in Goldsmiths, University of London, she works on a freelance basis to travel and create contents for television channels and clients in different countries.
Currently she is working extensively with traditional craftsmen and culture in Japan, and documenting the Outsider artists in Cuba. She hopes to discover meaningful stories, and create work that both 'disturbs' and 'soothes', which could create a critically self-aware fusion between societal discourses and art. It is also her hope to raise questions and stimulate imaginations about our increasingly complex societies, capturing and mesmerizing in human behaviors and their reality, oddity as well as impact in various parts of the world.
To All Members:
Evidence NAGASAKI: within 1 km of Ground Zero
photo exhibition by Akira Matsumura
Aug. 1 - Sept. 4 Main Bar and Masukomi Sushi
It has been seventy years since the atomic bomb was dropped and Nagasaki now looks no different from other cities. Everything about the atomic bomb tends to be forgotten, seen as something from the past. Media coverage is more or less limited to the atomic bomb's anniversary, mainly news reports on the day of the ceremony. For this work, I photographed the atomic bomb remains and relics that were within one kilometer of the hypocenter at the time of the bombing. I sincerely hope these various close-up photographs will be remembered as the evidence for generations to come.
Akira Matsumura was born in Kyoto in 1946. After studying photography at Nihon University, he worked for Mainichi Newspaper from 1965 - 2005. He has received considerable acclaim for his work, including the Tokyo Press Photographers Association Award for a photo series on the 50th year since the end of World War II. In addition, Matsumura has published several photo books and had a number of exhibitions. After leaving the newspaper, he taught photography at the Zokei Art College in Kyushu and in 2014 opened Matsumura Akira Photo School in Fukuoka City (Kyushu). Recently Matsumura published his photo book "Evidence NAGASAKI" which is the subject of this exhibition.
The Exhibitions Committee
OYAKO Parents & Children
Photo exhibition by Bruce Osborn
Main Bar July 04 - 31, 2015
I began taking photos of parents and children as a way of looking at Japanese culture and the changes from one generation to the next. In the 33 yr. since starting this series, I have taken thousands Oyako and the project has grown in ways I never expected. In 2003, my wife and I started Oyako Day social action which is on the 4th Sunday of July. On Oyako Day, I take photos of 100 families in an all day Super Photo Session. July 26 will be our 13th Oyako Day event. For more information about Oyako Day, go to the website.
* Photos in this exhibition are from an ongoing series I'm taking for Mainichi Newspaper.
Originally from Los Angeles, Bruce Osborn has been based in Tokyo since 1980. His photos can be seen in numerous publications and advertisements, both in Japan and overseas. Bruce has gotten a number of awards and published several photo books. In addition, he shoots and directs TV commercials and music clips. In 2014, a movie was made about Bruce and his Oyako project.
The Exhibitions Committee
Japan Photo exhibition by Naoki Honjo
Main Bar June 6 - July 3
Naoki Honjo is a renowned photographer with his unique photographing method of making a reality into unreal. With his 4x5 large format film camera, he adjusts a focal point and captures our daily lives that become a whole different world. His works point out how vague and ambiguous the universe that we assume we know is. He has been taking bird's?eye view photos of landscapes, cities, buildings, and artifacts of the present day around the world including USA, France, England,
Africa and China. Among them, he chose Japan to show the traditional architectures and landscapes.
Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1978.
He graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University Graduate School of Arts with a MFA in Media Art Course. Since then, he has had many solo exhibitions and participated group exhibitions including "Reality Check: Truth and Illusion in ontemporary Photography" that was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He received the 32nd Kimura Ihe Award with his first photo book, "small planet" in 2006. His works are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the useum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The Exhibitions Committee