by Yoshinori Mizutani
Last weekend, the Westergas area in Amsterdam was completely transformed again for the Unseen Photo Fair. Following two slightly underwhelming editions, this year turned out to be a rather exciting display of photographic work from all over the world. In spite of these fluctuating levels of inspiration to be found in the booths, there's one spot that never ceases to impress us since their debut three years ago: the booth of Antwerp-based IBASHO Gallery. For Unseen 2017 they decided to bring work by our favorite photographer under their representation; Yoshinori Mizutani, who shot the series named 'Amsterdam' during his first visit ever to the city, while the 2015 edition took place (when we were all set to meet him, but he had to cancel because of sickness - hopefully next year!).
We've been fans of Mizutani's work from the moment we discovered his iconic 'Tokyo Parrots' series some years ago and he has been expanding his impressive portfolio with one beautiful series after another ever since. In recent years he has been moving beyond figurative images into the photographic abstract, which brings new layers of depth into his artistic vision and for one resulted in our favorite Plant Journal cover till date. Mizutani's abstract work beautifully touches a similar color palette as his figurative work and therefore still shows a remarkable similar signature, which is rare. With 'Amsterdam' Mizutani focusses on one of the city's most iconic landmarks; the canals, which now a days are structurally polluted by tourists or wealthy boat owners (and their drunken friends) — yet through the lens of Mizutani all of that ugliness is filtered out, in order for abstract colorful representations to remain, revealing some of the most beautiful expressionistic photography of the famous stretches of water that we have ever seen. [ Continue reading ]
Shibata Toshio at the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden
Three weeks ago, the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden, in the west of the Netherlands, opened the exhibition 'The Constructed Landscape', for the first time ever presenting this body of beautiful work by the highly talented Japanese photographer Shibata Toshio in The Netherlands. Known for his captivating landscape photography, Shibata captures signature images of large-scale highways and civil engineering constructions in uninhabited regions in deeply captivating photographic works. Civil engineering structures such as dams, lakes and bridges play a central role in his work. His perspective takes the viewer beyond the functionality of these structures and shows them the aesthetics of the infrastructure. His compositions illustrate how nature — weather, corrosion, erosion, water currents and landslides — reclaims damage done by human intervention. Shibata’s photos, taken with a large-format camera exude an atmosphere of fantasy void of references to time, place and scale. His works have been praised for their timeless, abstract and picturesque qualities — making his body of work among the most interesting in its genre. Specifically featured in this edition of the exhibition is a series of bridges in the Benelux as seen from various different perspectives.
For those in and around The Netherlands: don't miss this extraordinary exhibition before it closes on the 3th of September! [ Continue reading ]
IBASHO Gallery presents the work of Toru Ukai at Unseen Photo Fair 2016
Tomorrow the 2016 edition of the Unseen Photo Fair will open its doors for the public at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam and it promises to be another celebration of photography, with work from all over the globe having found its way to the Dutch capital again. Although we weren't blown away by what saw in the former two editions, there will be always (we hope) those hidden gems to be discovered amidst the more repetitive imagery on display. Returning Antwerp-based gallery IBASHO is one of the participants we really appreciate.
Last year the gallery was a newcomer on Unseen (after they had just started their operation on the edge of the Antwerp-South area) and this year it brings a debuting photographer to Amsterdam, which we feel is one of those few great new talents to be discovered. With its focus on contemporary Japanese photography, during their first presence at Unseen Photo Fair IBASHO presented, amongst others, the iconic 'Tokyo Parrots' by the great Yoshinori Muzutani in Amsterdam, this time around it introduces the incredible series 'Invisible Machinery' by the very talented Toru Ukai. The Tokyo-based photographer is interested in the hidden and invisible structure in our modern society, which he has given the moniker invisible machinery, portrayed in his ongoing series to be seen at Unseen. Ukai observes the structure in the social systems, the law and the architecture, but also in the behavior of people; gestures and figures — captured in sharp and cold tones, with a distinct digital feel, proving to be a perfect fit for the science fiction-like arena which is urban Japan. Having such an interesting signature, perfectly fitting the narrative of his unique perspective on the world around him, makes us eagerly look forward where Ukai will take his beautiful photography in the years to come..
When visiting Unseen Photo Fair in the coming days, make sure to not skip IBASHO's booth and enjoy the work by the incredible new talent! [ Continue reading ]
Yoshinori Mizutani at IBASHO Amsterdam
We discovered the Antwerp-based IBASHO gallery as one of the exhibitors of last year's Unseen Photo Fair. During the long weekend in Amsterdam, amongst other work, it showed the incredible 'Tokyo Parrots' series by the very talented Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani, which we were very happy to see in real life for the first time and formed one of the undisputed highlights of the whole festival for us. IBASHO specializes in contemporary photography and next to Mizutani has some very talented photographers in its roster. Despite the other talent Yoshinori Mizutani remains our favorite and on the 7th of April the gallery presents the second solo exhibition of the young Japanese artist. After the successful pop-up show in 2015 at Graanmarkt 13, the work of Mizutani will return in Antwerp with a solo exhibition in the gallery. The exhibition combines images from his earlier popular series 'Tokyo Parrots' and 'Yusurika' with two new series, 'Sakura' and 'Kawau'. In 'Sakura', inspiration of the name of this particular show, Mizutani shows us an unusual and mesmerizing view on one of Japans icons, the cherry blossom. The abstract and graphic black and white photography of the 'Kawau '- Japanese for the cormorant bird - is Mizutani’s second exploration of birds in an urban environment, and forms the perfect grainy black and white counterpart of the pastel colored 'Tokyo Parrots'. We can't wait for this incredible showcase of Mizutani's talent. [ Continue reading ]