Friday, November 19, 2010

"See the light: Kozo Miyoshi captures peaceful, glowing moments from modern life"

Photo borrowed from
From today's Daily Yomiuri Online:

"They say a chick considers the first thing it sees to be its mother. In my case, that 'first thing' was black-and-white pictures. That was my indoctrination into the world of photography," says Kozo Miyoshi, who has for more than three decades been capturing monochromatic images of subjects he considers to be equals.

"I've always got a theme I'm working with, but it can be hard to find things that fit the brief. So, I have to travel if I want to meet them. Whether it is to the United States, throughout Japan or even just within Tokyo, I find my subjects when I'm on the move," Miyoshi says at Photo Gallery International, where many new prints of photos he took from 1978 to 1983 are on show until Dec. 22.

The exhibition--Kozo Miyoshi "See Saw"--features about 20 of his works, the majority of which are being shown for the first time to go with his latest book of photographs, Origin, is being published.
The event coincides with Kozo Miyoshi Photographs, another exhibition of photos from the same period that ended its run at Harajuku's Vacant gallery last week. "Both events are to showcase work I shot before I switched to an 8x10 camera. That period really marked my birth as a photographer," says Miyoshi, who held his first solo exhibition in 1979, just over seven years after he began taking pictures.
Miyoshi lived in San Francisco in 1972, and again in 1979-1982. He spent 1991-97 in Arizona, first as a researcher on a government program at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, and then working on his own.


"I see no difference between humans and inanimate objects. I snap the shutter only because I find them to be interesting subjects," Miyoshi says.

The photographer also says he sees his photographs as no more than objects; he prefers not to discuss spiritual or abstract notions when talking about his work. "Photographs are things," he says. "I face my subjects on equal terms and the lens helps make it clearer."


"I do everything from shooting to printing myself, and can do it almost perfectly, so I only need to take a single shot at each location. That stops me from taking too many pictures," he says with a wry smile. "I really feel this camera has brought me closer to my subjects."

"Of course, my advice for young people learning to take good photographs is to take and print a lot of pictures every day," says Miyoshi. The photographer remembers sleeping with his camera out of "eagerness to take pictures, even in my dreams."

"Sense and talent is something you develop. In other words, sense is something you get after learning to take pictures."


Says Miyoshi: "A photograph cannot capture the air, wind, smells or the atmosphere of a group of people gathered around a tree. You have to be there to feel them. However, taking a photograph of the tree from a completely different view--i.e. in black-and-white--allows me to face the tree as an equal."

"Kozo Miyoshi 'See Saw,'" until Dec. 22, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (to 6 p.m. on Saturdays) at Photo Gallery International near Tamachi station in Tokyo. Only people attending the gallery talk (2,000 yen) can visit after 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. Closed on Sundays and national holidays. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Read the whole story:

For more on Miyoshi:

Kozo Miyoshi ''SEE SAW'' at Photo Gallery International:,en/ 

Kozo MIYOSHI at Photo Gallery International:,en/

Kozo Miyoshi – from Shiogama Urato series at Japan Exposures:

Shiogama Urato at

No comments: