Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Diplomats reveal Japan 'old and new' through lens" /// Visual Anthropology Students Reveal Japanese Culture Through Excellent Portraits

From this morning's Japan Today:

An annual exhibition featuring photographs taken by Japan-based foreign diplomats opens in Tokyo on Oct 15, showcasing a country that is traditional, modern, beautiful and curious, from the viewfinders of keen international observers.

About 90 works submitted by 66 diplomats and family members from 40 countries will be on display at the 13th week-long exhibition, titled, "Japan ‘Old and New’ through Diplomats’ Eyes," with the special theme of "takumi" (craftsmanship).

The Grand Prize, chosen by the show’s eight-member committee, went to Bengt Westerblad, a Swedish-born artist and husband of a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, whose photo captured a bamboo-made bud vase on a black background. In the picture, what looks like a test tube protrudes from a dark bamboo-woven ball, with a green leaf inserted into it.

Read the whole story: http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/diplomats-reveal-japan-old-and-new-through-lens
For more information about the exhibition: http://diplomatseyes.com/

UPDATE (10/15/10): The Yomiuri Online ran a piece about the exhibition today: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/arts/T101014002499.htm

Fall 2010 Student Visual Anthropology Photo Journal Blogs

This task for students in last week's blog was to take portraits of Japanese people (and for Japanese students to take portraits of foreigners in Japan). While none of the students are the husband of a diplomat, there are many artists and keen international observers. Many have provided some really excellent portraits in their blogs. It is obvious that students have been working on their photographic skills and pondering cultural representation. In addition to introducing a particular Japanese person through portraits and text, students wrote about the experience of photographing and representing another person. While no single post or portrait can serve to illustrate all people in Japan, when one examines all of the individuals that students chose as their subjects, one can see both cultural patterns and cultural diversity. Many students tackled issues of identity and belonging. Lots of good stuff here. Please check out the student blogs (from last week and every week) and add to the discourse with your comments.

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