Then and Now: Japanese Women Photographers of the 1970s and ’80s Revealed Through Their Photobooks
During the 1970s, the United States discovered postwar Japanese photography through several survey exhibitions curated by the Japanese historian Yamagishi Shoji: first at the Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with John Szarkowski, 1974; and then in 1979 at the International Center of Photography (ICP) under the auspices of Cornell Capa. In 1977 the Württembergischer Kunstverein, in Stuttgart also contributed to the West’s understanding of this period with its exhibition Neue Fotografie aus Japan. Surprisingly, only the ICP show included a female photographer – Ishiuchi Miyako. Despite their almost total exclusion in the major survey shows in the West of 1970s and ’80s Japanese photography, there were several very active and talented female photographers in addition to Ishiuchi. A few were students or assistants of well-known male photographers such as Moriyama Daido, Araki Nobuyoshi, and Tomatsu Shomei. And as was and still is the custom in the Japanese photographic community, these women presented their work principally in the format of photobooks.”
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