Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present

As part of Japan Foundation visual arts program, we organized traveling exhibitions of artworks from our own collection to tour countries throughout the world. This traveling exhibition, “Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present” is an overview of the diverse photographic expression that has emerged in Japan since the 1970s. The exhibition includes 76 photographs by 23 photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama. This exhibition is composed of two sections. The first, “A Changing Society,” focuses on human beings as members of society. The second, “Changing Landscapes,” looks at cities, the suburbs, and nature.


Duration:   8th November – 14th December 2013

Venue:        Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah, Universiti Sains Malaysia

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opening photography


(photo by Shi Png Chng)


Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present


Risaku Suzuki (b.1963)

Sakura N-6, 2002


SECTION 1 – A Changing Society

“Why photograph the totally ordinary everyday stuff when nothing’s actually happening out there? He put his finger right on what I was doing, or what I wanted to do.”

Nobuyoshi Araki

Section 1 focuses on the appearance of human beings as members of society. Photographers have made a serious search for something existing in the ordinariness in everyday life.


Shomei Tomatsu (b. 1930)     George Hashiguchi (b. 1949)     Hiromi Tsuchida (b. 1939)

Nobuyoshi Araki (b. 1940)     Mitsugu Ohnishi (b. 1952)          Hiroh Kikai (b. 1945)

Kazuo Kitai (b. 1944)                  Tokuko Ushioda (b. 1940)         Masato Seto (b. 1953)


SECTION 2 – Changing Landscapes

“Everything in Japan is becoming uniform. Wherever you go you see the same sort of images. Everyone is faced with the question of how to live with such boring everyday conditions. ”

Norio Kobayashi

Section 2 focuses on changes in landscape appearing in the city, the suburbs, and nature. Photographers’ gaze on everyday landscape attempts to be “contemporary” with respect to a continually changing society and time.


Shuji Yamada (b. 1939)            Toshio Shibata (b. 1949)                Kikuji Kawada (b. 1933)

Akihide Tamura (b. 1947)       Norio Kobayashi (b. 1952)            Ryuji Miyamoto (b. 1947)

Eiji Ina (b. 1957)                         Toshimi Kamiya (b. 1946)             Takashi Homma (b. 1962)

Hitoshi Tsukiji (b. 1947)           Yutaka Takanishi (b. 1935)           Miyuki Ichikawa (b. 1963)


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