On March 6th, the Hasselblad Foundation presented Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi with its 2014 annual Hasselblad Award. In conjunction with the award, an exhibition of Ishiuchi’s work curated by Dragana Vjuanovic and Louise Wolpers of the Hasselblad Foundation will open on November 7th at the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden. The curators will also edit an accompanying publication, which will include essays by Dr Lena Fritsch, assistant curator at the Tate Modern, and Christopher Phillips, curator at ICP.
Ishiuchi, who has spent the past 40 years pursuing a photographic vision that explores time and surface filtered through memory, is among only a handful of well-known female photographers from Japan’s postwar scene of the 1970s/80s. Born in 1947, Ishiuchi was raised in Yokosuka, a city southwest of Tokyo with a large American naval presence since the late 1940s. Often devoid of people, her images of fortified military buildings, streets and social clubs possess a quiet power and are containers for Ishiuchi’s highly personal childhood memories of place. They also speak to a sense of loss and resentment that is reflective of a national sentiment towards the continued postwar American militarization in Japan.
In 1977 I photographed the town where I formerly lived…At the time I knew nothing about photography…but there was only a fervor that I could not place, as well as a certain acuteness that had grown on me, so I walked these streets once more, as if to reconfirm the hurt that I could not help but recollect with such sharpness…The photographs, with memories smeared starkly into each and every grain in the texture, where combined with the characteristic strength of ignorance (Yokosuka Again 64).
Her first three books are considered a loose trilogy arising from her haunted childhood memories of Yokosuka. The ICP Library has copies of all three in its rare book section: Apartment (1978), Yokosuka Story (1979), and Endless Night (1981).
Later works address the passing of time through its imprint on our physical bodies. In 1•9•4•7 (1990), a photobook titled from Ishiuchi’s birth year, she presents images of the hands and feet from woman also born in the same year. In Hiroshima (2008), Ishiuchi photographed the clothing remnants worn by atomic bomb victims. Spread out like corpses on an autopsy table, these stark images document horrific tragedy through a quiet beauty. Other books that speak to time’s mark on our bodies are: 1906: To the Skin (1994), Nail (2000) and Scar (2005).
I cannot stop [taking photographs of scars] because they are so much like a photograph… They are visible events, recorded in the past. Both the scars and the photographs are the manifestation of sorrow for the many things, which cannot be retrieved and for love of life as a remembered present. (sepia Eye magazine)
Ishiuchi has a long association with the International Center of Photography; with her first exposure to American audiences in a 1979 ICP group show Japan: A Self-Portrait. More recently, her work was included in Dress Code: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video (2010). As a result of this 35-year history, the ICP Library has an extensive collection of Ishiuchi’s photobooks. Listed below is the complete catalogue of photobooks by Miyako Ishiuchi available for viewing at the library. We invite you to come by and spend some time with them.
Pictured are ICP Library staff, friends and visitors holding up Miyako Ichiuchi’s photobooks.
Apartment (Tokyo: Shashin Tsushinsha, 1978)
TR659.4 .I74 1978
Yokosuka Story (Tokyo: Shashin Tsushin Co., 1979)
TR820.5.J3 .I74 1979
Suidobashi Tokyo Dental College (Tokyo: Issei-Shuppan, 1981)
TR659.4 .I842 1981
Endless Night (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1981)
TR659 .I74 1981
1906: To the Skin (Tokyo: Kawade Shobo Shinsya, 1994)
TR681.A35 .I84 1994
Inside Out: Contemporary Japanese Photography: An Exhibition of Five Japanese Photographers (Charlotte, N.C.: Light Factory Photographic Arts Center; Santa Monica: Distributed by RAM-USA, 1994)
TR646.U6 I57 1994
Te, Ashi, Niku, Karada, Hiromi 1955
Miyako Ishichi photographs and Ito Hiromi, text (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1995)
TR675 . I842 1995
Sawaru: Chromosome XY (Tokyo: Shinchosha Company, 1995)
TR681.M4 . I842 1995
Yokosuka Again: 1980 – 1990 (Tokyo: Sokyusha, 1998)
TR659.Y65 .I84 1998
Miyako Ishiuchi: Time Textured in Monochrome (Tokyo: Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan, 1999)
TR647 .I84 1999
Nail (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2000)
TR674 .I83 2000
Renya no Machi: Ishiuchi Miyako Shashinshu (Tokyo: Waizushuppan, 2001)
TR659 . I84 2001
Mother’s (Tokyo: Sokyusha, 2002)
TR140 .I842 2002
Scar (Tokyo: Nihon Bunkyo Shuppan, 2005)
TR140 .I842 2005
Mother’s 2000-2005: Traces of the Future (Tokyo: The Japan Foundation, 2005)
TR655 .M59 2005
Ishiuchi Miyako: Innocence (Tokyo: AKAAKA Art Publishing, 2007)
TR674 .M59 2007
Club & Courts Yokosuka Yokohama (Tokyo: Sokyusha, 2007)
TR659.4 .M59 2007
Hiroshima (Tokyo: Shueisha, 2008)
TR179.5 . I84 2008
Miyako Ishiuchi: Yokosuka Story; Apartment; Endless Night; 1. 9. 4. 7; 1906 to the Skin; Mother’s (Amsterdam: The Institute of Art Research – Cinubia Production, 2008) TR820.5.J3 . I842 2008
Hiroshima Yokosuka: Ishiuchi Miyako Ten (Tokyo: Meguro-ku Bijutsukan, 2008)
TR647 .I842 2008
Ishiuchi Miyako Infiniti Shintai no Yukue (Tokyo: Kyuryudo, 2009)
TR140 . M59 2006
Sweet Home Yokosuka 1976-1980 (New York: PPP Editions in association with Andrew Roth, Inc., 2010)
TR659.8 . M59 2010
Tokyo Bay Blues (Tokyo: Sokyusha, 2010)
TR659.5 .I84 2010