Focus on Japanese Photography

About This Publication

Centered on SFMOMA’s large, diverse collection of Japanese photography from the postwar years to the present, this publication examines the development of the country’s distinctive and innovative photographic culture through the work of key practitioners of the last six decades. Biographical overviews, artist talks, video interviews, and additional resources provide insight into this tumultuous but artistically fertile period, spanning Allied occupation and the escalation of American troops in Japan during the Vietnam War, the country’s spectacular economic growth and subsequent crash in the 1980s, the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and on.

Like the collection, this project is by no means static; it will continue to grow as research continues. It launches with a spotlight on five photographers and will expand to incorporate additional writings and source materials — many new or never before published — over time.

Generous support for this publication is provided by NIKON. Additional support is provided by The Ray Evans and Wyn Ritchie Evans Foundation and Glen S. and Sakie T. Fukushima.

The Bernard Osher Foundation

For more than 100 years, Nikon has pursued new and innovative imaging technology to better our everyday lives, create more beautiful art, and solve some of humanity's greatest challenges. We are proud to support SFMOMA’s Focus on Japanese Photography, which brings the important work and stories of these influential photographers to the world.

Header image: Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast #13018, 2006 (detail); chromogenic print, 39 3/16 x 59 1/16 in. (99.5 x 150 cm); collection SFMOMA, gift of the Kurenboh Collection; © Naoya Hatakeyama


Introduction

Sandra S. Phillips on the history of Japanese photography at SFMOMA and the vibrant photographic community that emerged in Japan in the decades following World War II