Saturday, December 2, 2017

AJJ Presentation - Tachinomiya: Photo Exhibition as Research Method

I will be presenting about the Tachinomiya photo exhibition at the Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ) 2017 Fall Meeting at Doshisha University in Kyoto.

Abstract: Recently I held a photo exhibition called Tachinomiya: There are Two Sides to Every Noren. It was as a visual ethnography of a local drinking establishment in Japan with prints illustrating the atmosphere of the shop along with portraits of the owner, employees and regular customers. One outstanding feature of this tachinomiya is its long, dark blue noren, a kind of fabric curtain as its entrance that signals that the shop is open for business and provides partial seclusion for the shop and customers. The noren can be seen as a fluid wall; when calm it blocks much of the view from the outside, but when the wind blows its separated partitions offer more glimpses of the inside. The glimpses can be narrow or revealing. One cannot control the wind; this fluid wall illustrates the complexities of personal privacy in public spaces in Japan, especially in the context of taking photographs in public and image rights. Initially I thought the photo exhibition to be the final product of the fieldwork and research. But I found the exhibition and interactions with the gallery audience to reveal important aspects of heuristic processes, meaning-creation, evocation and multivocality. Viewers were doing more than merely looking at my photographs, they were analyzing, scrutinizing, reacting and providing various interpretations and valuable feedback. In this presentation I will discuss the "post-fieldwork encounters" of the photo exhibition as a research method and a collaborative media event along the lines of the relatively new multimodal perspective in visual anthropology.

Date & Time: Saturday, December 9, 2017. 2:00 PM
Place: Doshisha University, Imadegawa Campus, Ryoshinkan

For more information about the AJJ 2017 Fall Meetings:

AJJ Fall Meeting 2017 Schedule:
AJJ Fall Meeting 2017 Abstracts:

More information about the Tachinomiya photo exhibition:

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