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EMON AWARD 5 | Chisa Nishii Exhibition

2016/07/15 fri - 07/27 wed

EMON AWARD focuses on fresh emerging artists who develop and finds a new photographic language. We are pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition of Chisa Nishii, the special prizewinner of the 5th EMON AWARD, starting from July 15, 2016. Chisa Nishii has composed her series called “Slack stream” while she was learning photography at the Tokyo Polytechnic University, Photography Department. Her unique interpretation towards her birthplace can be seen through her artwork. We are proud to introduce this intimate and delicate series of a new upcoming talent.

Chisa Nishii ( Born in 1990, based in Tokyo.) Graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University Photography Department 




Director's Choice Landscapes | Luca Lupi × Sohta Kawaguchi

2016/12/02 fri - 12/24 sat

For the final exhibition of the year, EMON Photo Gallery presents a collaboration exhibit of landscapes portrayed by two artists, one from Japan and one from Italy.

The collaborative exhibition is comprised of works by Italian photographer Luca Lupi, invited by EMON after meeting at Fotofever in Paris in 2015, as well as winner of a reviewer award at Onaeba photo contest in 2014, Souta Kawaguchi. The theme is “horizons”.

Lupi gazes from the offing toward the shore, Kawaguchi from the shore into the far distance. There is a mathematical nuance to how they both collect on film the artificial (and sometimes natural) artefacts that intersect their horizons, however the vistas they seek to present are opposing. Lupi focuses on the civilization and nature in a constant state of evolution, hour by hour, drawing the cityscapes out of the horizon from his vantage point on a boat in the bay. These are contemporary documentary photos, but they are also landscapes configured geometrically, as if created with a scientific eye on graph paper. On the other hand, Kawaguchi travels on a photo journey of several hundred kilometers on his beloved bicycle, turning away from the architectural forms and usage of filters that are his specialty, and recording his numerous encounters with the horizon.

The series’ by these two artists were created at roughly the same time, yet lay in contrast. Lupi quietly expresses the sense of crisis inherent in civilizations such as ours that embrace manmade sophistry and societal phenomena. As if in response, Kawaguchi savors the scenery that nature provides. However, both shed all aspects of superfluity to grasp their subjects with powerful minimalism, taking totally ordinary scenes and sublimating them with a clear, crisp beauty.

Contrasting horizons. Perhaps they lay both at the edge of the distance into which we the viewers gaze, yet are also metaphors for the edges of the expanse that opens up inside us as we look upon them. I feel that they show to us another aspect of what the future holds for the possibilities of photographic expression.

Luca Lupi 1970 -

Born in Pontedera, province of Pisa,

Presently lives and works in Fucecchio, Florence in Italy.

Sohta Kawaguchi 1988 -

Born in Tokyo.

Graduated from Shibaura Institute of Technology,  Dept. of Architecture and   Building Engineering



ルカの視点は沖合から岸に向かい、川口は岸辺から遥か前方に。その水平線に交わる人工的な要素(時に自然物)を採取する両者の眼差しは数学的な分析が見られるものの、それぞれ相反する景観を提示しようとします。 ルカは、刻々と変貌を続ける文明と自然に焦点を当て、ボートに乗って沖合から見た水平線に現れる都市の姿を浮かび上がらせます。この写真は現代のドキュメンタリーでありながら、方眼紙に落とし込むような技法を駆使して幾何学的で淡々としたランドスケープを提示しています。一方で川口は、愛用の自転車を使って数百キロを移動する撮影旅行を行い、彼の専攻である建築的な視点とフィルターを濾して岸辺から見た数々の水平線との出会いを多数記録しました。


互いの水平線。その風景を通じて交えわるこの水平線は、悠か遠方を望む我々の視点の先にあると同時に、観るものの内部に拡がる空間の比喩として在るかも知れません。 それは未来に伸びる写真表現のひとつの可能性を私たちに見せてくれていると云えるのかも知れません。

ルカ・ルピ  1970 -



川口聡太 1988 -




Hiroshi Yamazaki at Paris Photo 2016

2016/11/09 wed - 11/13 sun

EMON Photo Gallery is proud to present Hiroshi Yamazaki, a master in Japanese photography at the 20th edition of Paris Photo. 

Paris Photo 2016 

2016.11.09wed → 11.13sun 

Location: Grand Palais, Paris 

EMON Photo Gallery stand: D05 

Hiroshi Yamazaki 

At the core of Hiroshi Yamazaki’s photography is a desire to create deeply intuitive photos, imbued with a vitality that is reminiscent of the documentary genre’s obsession with coincidence. From this foundation, Yamazaki launches countless artistic experiments in photography and motion picture in an attempt to capture the essence of film itself.

This ambition is evident in his signature series 「Heliography」(1974), a body of art representing over ten years of work. Fixing his camera over a featureless coastline, Yamazaki captures the slow arc of the sun with super long exposures. His powerful compositions capture bands of sunlight and their fierce reflection on the water below with stoic poise, and his motion picture work includes pieces in which the camera itself is destroyed by the sun’s brilliant luminescence.Yamazaki repeatedly dismantles and reconstructs notions of photography as if to seek out its purest essence. His quiet determination to surpass the bounds of convention is beyond imitation. Photography is the art of the freeze frame, and Yamazaki’s photographs represent the forefront of a tireless journey to the outer limits of film photography.

The title of this collection, “Heliography”, is the term photography pioneer Joseph Nicéphore Niépce gave to the photographic technique he himself discovered. Yamazaki states that “a frank desire and sensitivity toward light seem to be expressed in this word. Now that I have adopted Niepce’s appealing designation for titling my photographs, I feel I must also maintain the same earnest enthusiasm for photography as my great predecessor had.” (Artist statement, 1983)

Before Heliography, Yamazaki used to place deliberate limitations on his shooting. In what he describes as his “premeditated crimes”, he would conduct modest experiments to see what expression could be gleaned solely from subjects visible from his apartment window, such as buildings, vapor trails, the sun or moon. Deriving an answer by deliberately limiting one’s possibilities has been intimately connected with Japanese aesthetics since ancient times. Sen no Rikyuu, the sixteenth century master of the tea ceremony used to summon forth beauty by first banishing all forms of decorativeness. Even further back in time, Zeami, the forefather of Noh theatre, terms the beauty of Noh as “makoto no hana” (genuine flower), that emanates from his performances only when one is free from conscious thought of it. The power and appeal of the works of Yamazaki is universal. With them, he carves for himself a vital footprint in the history of Japanese photography. The pieces we present here are only a tiny sample of the timeless majesty of Hiroshi Yamazaki’s photographs, that refuse to fade even after forty years of existence.


Eriko Koga Exhibition

2016/10/21 fri - 11/26 sat

EMON is very pleased to present an exhibition of Tryadhvan, the latest series by photographer Eriko Koga, for a period of one month from October 21. Last year Koga won the Grand Prix award at KG+, an international photography festival satellite event in Kyoto. Tryadhvan was produced as part of the official program for Kyotographie 2016, exhibited in a prestigious Nagaie traditional Kyoto residence. EMON now recreates the powerful ambience of this exhibition in Tokyo. Tryadhvan takes the new life conceived within Koga’s own body as a focal point for exploring the spiritual power inherent in familial bonds. The title of the series is taken from the Sanskrit word to describe past, present and future existence, and examines what we all stand to learn from the invisible but unbroken lines that extend between all three. Meeting her priest husband, receiving the gift of her child and numerous other moments of temple life are etched into Koga’s heart; her gaze imbued with an exquisite restraint as she records these scenes. The monochrome photographs capture with utmost power the temple’s supernatural serenity, nestled at the foot of Mt. Hieizan. Koga’s bond with her husband, and her own face in profile–that of a mother–all are woven together like a diary of sorts, at times revealing scenes that are breathtaking. We are happy to invite one and all to view this exhibition of works composed with assistance from Pascale Beausse, Head of Photographic Collections at the Centre National des Arts Plastiques in France, and the cooperation of Kyotographie International Photography Festival. In cooperation with Kyotographie|Grand Marble|Canon Marketing Japan Inc.


Osamu Yokonami Exhibition

2016/09/02 fri - 10/08 sat

EMON Photo Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of new works by photographer Osamu Yokonami on September 3rd. The exhibition includes Yokonami’s Assembly series, started in 2010, together with completely new works under the name Assembly Snow. These works capture groups of teenage girls all clad in similar clothing, gathered together in the mountain snow or by the seaside for some kind of fantastical congregation. The photos contain Yokonami’s signature attention to costume, rhythmical composition, and unique humour, all of which tempt us observers toward the whimsical play of his subjects. This special exhibition will be available for viewing at EMON Gallery as well as at Daikanyama Photo Fair from September 30th to October 2nd. EMON welcomes one and all to view these works in Hiroo and Daikanyama.


Opening Reception

2nd September Fri 18:00- 

"Assembly" in Daikanyama Photo Fair 2016 

2016.09.30fri → 10.02sun 

Daikanyama Hillside Forum and Hillside Plaza 

Artist Statement 

Up until this point, the series entitled Assembly took a bird’s eye view of separate gatherings in an attempt to express the strength of congregation. Assembly Snow now seeks to overlay and melt the individuals together into one whole. A simple means of achieving this was to slow the shutter speed, blurring individual forms together. Rather than capturing what I saw before my eyes, the photos depict unforeseen images created during the developing process.

No one can exist in isolation 

We all help each other as we live 

I wanted to experience the image of individuals dissolving into a snow-white world. There, the individual vanished and the beauty of assembly became apparent. 


EMON AWARD 5 | Akihito Yoshida Exhibition

2016/07/30 sat - 08/11 thu

EMON AWARD focuses on fresh artists who develop new photography expressions. From July 30, 2016, the special prizewinner Akihito Yoshida solo exhibition will be taking place at Emon Photo Gallery. After he works as an elementary teacher for 6 years, becomes a photographer. He travels and takes documentary pictures around Asia, and actively publishes works in magazines and conducts photo exhibitions. Theme of his creation is “meanings of work.” We are honored to introduce his newest series “Tannery”. His sharp viewpoint cuts into structures of capitalistic society, and his technique of photography creates light and shadow with rich colors. Both elements lead the judges to choose him for the special prize.

Comments from Kotaro Iizawa (Photography Critic)


It is getting more difficult to catch all changes in the recent world with photography. With the pictures of labors at a tanned leather factory in Bangladesh, Akihito Yoshida tried tothe problem. He never looks away from the reality in front of him, and tries to make the audience imagine the harsh structure of modern capitalism society. This work is only the first step of“ manual labor series,” which seems to be continued to be created in much larger scale. Keeping this fresh viewpoint, I am excited to see his next steps.

About “Tannery” by Akihito Yoshida

Hazaribagh is the industrial area located in Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh, and it is counted as one of the worlds most polluted areas. About 200 tanned leather factories are gathered in the area, and more than 20 thousand labors are working in the industry. During the complex process of making hide into leather, noxious chemicals are used repeatedly. Labors are in harsh health hazard because safety counterplans are not set up. The leather made into products like belts, bags, and shoes, and travels through the world including countries like Japan and reach our hands, but not many people realize the harsh environment of the labors.


EMON AWARD 5 | Chisa Nishii Exhibition

2016/07/15 fri - 07/27 wed

EMON AWARD focuses on fresh emerging artists who develop and finds a new photographic language. We are pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition of Chisa Nishii, the special prizewinner of the 5th EMON AWARD, starting from July 15, 2016. Chisa Nishii has composed her series called “Slack stream” while she was learning photography at the Tokyo Polytechnic University, Photography Department. Her unique interpretation towards her birthplace can be seen through her artwork. We are proud to introduce this intimate and delicate series of a new upcoming talent.

Chisa Nishii ( Born in 1990, based in Tokyo.) Graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University Photography Department 


EMON AWARD 5 | Hiroyuki Yamada Exhibition

2016/06/17 fri - 07/09 sat

The EMON AWARD is a public award that seeks out artists who devote themselves to new forms of expression in the fields of photo and motion picture art. This year the award attracted 107 entries consisting of documentary, conceptual and motion picture art brimming with individuality, and in January a panel of expert judges from diverse spheres of the Japanese art world viewed the eight finalists give their final public presentations. The grand final winner this year was Hiroyuki Yamada, with his ambitious presentation that featured work on a projector.

The vibrant, purely intuitive phenomenon that is free of reliance on subject or technique—were I asked about the charm of the photograph, that would be one answer. However, it is clear that Yamada’s photographs differ from this description. His mixed media pieces record fragments of time and consciousness in photo, experimenting with what can be visualised in what he terms “the image in progressive form". His pieces are the fruit of a unique creative concept. Within them, light and shadow clashes, colliding together in an indescribable impulse somehow reminiscent of the passion that boils out from within us. They are not easy images to assimilate into reality. These works by Yamada represent a continuous experimentation into the potentialities of photo, via repeated oscillations between both positive and negative elements.


EMON AWARDは、写真・映像の新しい表現に挑む作家にフォーカスする公募展。ドキュメンタリー、コンセプチュアル、映像作品など107名の個性的な作品が寄せられ、今年1月、各界から8名の審査員を招き、ファイナリスト8名による公開プレゼンテーションが行われました。 


被写体や技法に依存しない(偶然が関与した際に顕れるドキュメンタリー特有の)瑞々しさに触れるような極めて感覚的なもの。 もし写真の魅力は? と問われるなら、それはひとつの回答になるかもしれません。しかし山田弘幸の場合、そうした瞬間を切り取る写真とは違うのは明らかです。

時間や意識の流動で起こるイメージの断片(Fragment)を写真で記録し、彼が言う『画像の進行形』を繋ぎ合わせてイメージの可視化を試みた様々なミクストメディア作品は、独特なコンセプトメイクによるものでしょう。内に宿る光と影がぶつかり、突き破ってくるもの。それは身体の内から沸き立つ熱に似た正体不明の衝動であり、簡単に解き明かせるものではありません。 負と正の狭間を振子のように行き来しながら繰り返し実験を行って写真の可能性を模索しています。


Yuji Susaki Exhibition

2016/05/13 fri - 06/11 sat

Yuji Susaki graduated from Nihon University with a degree in photography before moving to the U.S. Since returning to Japan in 1992, his photographic activities have been multifaceted. He has worked as a photographer, producer and artist. Susaki has enjoyed considerable acclaim with European art collectors at art fairs in France and Belgium, and his exploration of the iconic Japanese cultural pastime of cosplay earned him awards at PX3 2013 in the Fine Art Photo Book and Fine Art Nude Professional categories. For his new work, Susaki explores the desires of the flesh. Human emotion has pulled at the boundaries between desire and sin since time immemorial, and Susaki attempts to release us from the restrictions of sexual morality. His latest series Hole of Human uses masks, peep holes and humour to repackage his analysis of the dangers of becoming enslaved by one’s own desire when trying to escape into the flesh of another. The focus of fetishism is to set the viewer’s imagination on fire by obscuring just enough to leave room for fantasy. Allow us to present to you the world of Yuji Susaki, clad in the culture of contemporary Japan.

EMON Director Seiji Komatsu


Naonori Nishiyama Exhibition

2016/03/18 fri - 04/16 sat

The Future of Then Photographer Naonori Nishiyama was born in 1977. His first experience with photography came at 18 years of age, and he worked in a photo studio until 2003 when he began a solo career. Now, against a foundation based in commercial photography, Naonori’s private work is permeated with a particular theme. 
The Future of Then explores the past, present and future, and is woven from snapshots that examine the nostalgia of one’s youth, taken over 12 years. Present-day children and suburban landscapes form the subjects of this series of photos that possess three distinct characteristics: ‘tricky’ camera work is eschewed and the subjects are treated with a stoic indifference; the vermillion tones of the prints tickle the memories of those who view them, conjuring a feeling of having slipped through time; and the portraits of the children who form the core subjects are deftly objectified—tools to be imbued with the thoughts and memories of the photographer himself. 
There is no attempt to emphasise a particular style or school, no attempt to attract sympathisers. Naonori Nishiyama’s documentary is perhaps rather an example of the strength and purity that photo can possess. 

Youth turns to adulthood. Youth; the empty canvas upon which dreams are painted, the pocket bulging with hopes and wishes. Personal memories are draped over the children of today as The Future of Then moves through those days of youth toward the awaiting future in this sensitive message from photographer Naonori Nishiyama. 

EMON Director Seiji Komatsu 


EMON Director's Choice 2016

2016/02/16 tue - 03/12 sat

EMON Photo Gallery is pleased to announce a special exhibition consisting of photographs, drawings and sculpture carefully chosen from the private collection of EMON Director Seiji Komatsu. Inspiration for the curatorial direction of this exhibition was drawn from the title of Noriaki Yokosuka’s (RIP) photo book The Photon and Ogre. Edited and given its name by Seigo Matsuoka and published in 2005, the book is an exploration of the ‘ogre’ of insanity that lurks in the jet-blackness of shadow. 

Countless myths and religions make allegorical use of the contrast between light and shadow to represent life and death, good and evil, the past and future; and the impact of this binary on culture and art needs no explanation. In this first attempt at an exhibition based on a private collection, I have chosen to focus on artists who face off against this most primordial of themes, whose works oscillate between the poles of light and shadow like a pendulum, or even seek out the very essence of light itself. Beginning with Noriaki Yokosuka’s debut series Shafts and Hiroshi Yamazaki’s defining work Heliography, this exhibition will feature 16 pieces by contemporary photographers, drawing artists and sculptors. 

The fact that these works come from a private collection undoubtedly imbues the overall ambience with an idiosyncratic hue, however we at EMON would be most pleased if visitors approached this exhibition as an insight into one aspect of the artistic philosophy of EMON Photo Gallery. Discerning art lovers, those interested in collecting, and of course artists–regardless of genre–we welcome one and all to come and view our latest exhibition. 

EMON Director Seiji Komatsu 

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