HIROSHI HAMAYA – A CHRONICLE OF GRIEF AND ANGER
We are pleased to present “A Chronicle of Grief and Anger” a solo exhibition of photographs by Hiroshi Hamaya from January 19 to February 25.
The exhibition will feature a series of 32 vintage prints which were made for the publication of the book, Ikari to Kanashimi no Kiroku [A Chronicle of Grief and Anger] (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 1960), a documentation of the protests surrounding the renewal of the US-Japan Security Treaty in 1960. These prints will be exhibited in Europe for the first time.
Hamaya began his photographic career in the 1930s with a series of images taken in the streets of his native city of Tokyo. After the war, Hamaya spent over a decade focusing on the folklore and lifestyle of a remote rural area of Northern Japan, which led to the series “Yukiguni” [Snow Land] and “Ura Nihon” [Japan’s Back Coast]. These humanist studies of the folklore and daily life of a region facing a particularly harsh climate remain two of his most celebrated works.
In 1960 the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States [Sōgo Kyōryoku Oyobi Anzen Hoshō Jōyaku], known as “Anpo” in Japanese shorthand, came up for renewal. Between May and June, millions of protesters took to the streets of Tokyo in an attempt to block the revised treaty and topple Nobusuke Kishi’s conservative government.
Although Hamaya had generally steered clear of politics in his work up until this point, inspired by the grassroots movements burgeoning at the time, he came to Tokyo to document the events that would unfold surrounding the renewal of Anpo. Between May 20 and June 22, Hamaya took some 2,600 photographs which he edited down to a selection of around 200 images in preparation for a book which was published in early August of 1960. His photographs of the Anpo protests were sent to Magnum in Paris and published in the June 25 issue of Paris Match. Soon thereafter he became the first Asian photographer to join the Magnum agency.
“A Chronicle of Grief and Anger” marks the beginning of a decade of turbulent political protests in Japan and is one of the first among the series of publications — known as “protest books” — which opened up a new form of photographic expression throughout the 1960s. The series remains an outlier in Hamaya’s oeuvre: an impassioned and politically motivated cri de coeur, the project marks a turning point in his own work and contains the seeds of a new immersive, dynamic photographic approach which reached an apex in the late 1960s.
An exhibition organized in collaboration with Taka Ishii Gallery Photography Paris and Marc Feustel, an independent curator, writer and editor based in Paris.
Dates : Jan. 19 to Feb. 25, 2017
Place : Gallery &co119, Paris