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Jan. 11 - Jan. 31, 2014 in the Main Bar


Working as a photojournalist covering Japan for nearly twenty-five years I am constantly reminded that something has become lost in the digital image. There is this unseen quality, or atmosphere that I often encounter in people, places and things that neither commercial film nor digital photography has been able to reveal.

After the 2011 tsunami I began documenting the people and landscapes around my farmhouse on the Boso Peninsula of Chiba with a 19th-century wooden camera. The ocean and local landscape had always been a source of inspiration and deep relaxation, and following the horror of the tsunami I sought to articulate a fresh new view of Japan. On location, I set up a portable darkroom tent and make glass negatives using a photographic process, called wet-plate collodion that dates back to the 1850's. This process allows me to finally articulate the 'atmosphere of Japan' with a quality kindred to traditional ink paintings. In fact, using Japanese sumi-e inks I draw directly onto the images in my attempt to go beyond 'drawing with sunlight' to articulate the Japanese aesthetic that first brought me to this country twenty-five years ago.

Everett Kennedy Brown is the recipient of the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency Commissioner's Award and the former bureau chief of European Press Photo Agency. His work appears in major publications around the world, including National Geographic, Time, New York Times, London Times and Geo. Fluent in Japanese, his most recent book,日本力 (nihonryoku) is a book of dialogues on Japan, with the Japanese thinker Matsuoka Seigo.

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