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Portraits of African Musicians 2019

photo exhibition by Tsunehiro Takakuwa
May 7 - June 7, 2019

It has been more than a quarter century since I first set foot on the good earth of Africa in 1991.

Since then, as if possessed, I have traveled incessantly to Africa, encountered tremendous African musicians and taken numerous portraits of them with a large 4x5-inch format camera. It is my belief that a portrait taken using a large format camera can capture the whole of its subject's life and strongly express it including his/her soul.

For people in Africa, song, dance and rhythm are an indispensable part of their daily lives. In one sense, these photos are unsolicited love letters from me to them.
As I encountered the lively, engaging faces and figures of these people, which seemed to be prototypically human and represent something that the Japanese were losing, I was smitten with Africa. Smitten, indeed.

Here you will see what I have carefully selected from more than 500 cuts of photographs I took in a large swath of Africa as well as France and Japan from 1991 to 2018.
The musicians hailed from a diverse range of regions across Africa, including Algeria in the north, South Africa in the south, Tanzania in the east, Reunion in the Indian Ocean and Senegal in the west.

This exhibition will be an opportunity for you to be intensely looked at by these lively faces, which seem to be prototypically human.
It would please me greatly if you were able to feel the soul of it all.

The Exhibition Committee


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