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Kohtaro Iizawa

(b Nagoya, Jan 16, 1930; d Naha, Dec 14, 2012).

Japanese photographer. He graduated from Aichi University in 1954 but was a self-taught photographer. In 1952 he submitted some photographs including Tsukare (‘Fatigue’) and Utatane (‘A doze’) to the monthly contest in the magazine Camera, and his talent was recognized by the judges Ken Domon and Ihei Kimura. He became a staff photographer for the Iwanami Photographic Library in 1954 and produced series of works such as Flood Damage and Japanese People and Seto—Pottery Town. In 1956 he became a freelance photographer and published works that commented sharply on the life of the lower middle classes, in magazines such as Chūō kōron and Asahi camera. These photographs of office workers, local politicians, and ordinary people were exhibited in the one-man show Hito—hito (‘People—people’) in 1959 at the Fuji Photo Salon, Tokyo. In the same year he formed the group Vivo with Ikko Narahara and Eikoh Hosoe and became a leading member....

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b Hong Kong, 1950; d New York, March 10, 1990).

Chinese–American performance artist and photographer. Tseng grew up in Hong Kong, but immigrated to Canada with his family in 1966. He attended two years of university there before studying art in Paris from 1970 to 1974 at the Ecole Superior d’Arts Graphiques and the Académie Julian. He inherited an interest in photography from his father, who frequently photographed his family with a camera acquired while he was in the Nationalist Army. Experiences as a Chinese living abroad inspired Tseng’s East Meets West project, which defined his career from 1979 until his death from AIDS in 1990. The series of photographs examined the significance of tourist attractions as signs of nation and power, the intersection of local and visitor at these sites and the reception of the Chinese as the cultural other.

Tseng met Keith Haring after settling in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978 and the two became close friends and collaborators. He photographed Haring in the act of painting in his studio, the subway and other public venues, producing more than 40,000 images (Keith Haring Documentary Archives, Tseng Kwong Chi Estate). Both artists believed that the process of making art was like a performance and contributed to the meaning of the work. This perspective informed Tseng’s ...

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b Fukui, Dec 20, 1939).

Japanese photographer. He studied dye chemistry at Fukui University from 1959 to 1963 before working in product development for a cosmetics company. From 1965 to 1968 he studied at Tokyo College of Photography where he later became a lecturer (1972) and professor (1993). Taking an interest in the workings of Japanese consciousness, Tsuchida photographed the folk events, festivals and pilgrimages of various regions. These photographs were exhibited as Jihei kūkan (‘Self-autism space’) at the Nikon Salons in Tokyo and Osaka and were later amplified in the collection Zokushin (‘Gods of the earth’; Yokohama, 1976) and further exhibited in 1977.

Tsuchida’s concern with the identity of the Japanese people subsequently developed in a variety of directions, and in the 1970s and 1980s he produced a series of works examining the culture of the lowest social strata of Japan. These include Aoi hana, Tokyo Doll (‘Blue flower, Tokyo doll’), which focused on transvestites working in the bars and clubs of Tokyo. An interest in the effect of the bombing of Hiroshima at the end of World War II led Tsuchida to put together his series ...

Article

Terence Pitts

(b West Carlisle, OH, April 8, 1871; d Mexico City, July 8, 1925).

American photographer and teacher . A self-taught photographer, he began taking photographs in 1893 and soon developed a style that showed the influence of Whistler, Sargent and Japanese prints. He was elected to the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the group of Pictorial photographers in 1900 and was a leading member of the Photo-Secession from 1902. His evocative photographs of rural landscapes and of his family celebrate the joys and virtues of the simple, middle-class way of life that existed in the USA before World War I (e.g. Ring Toss , 1899; New York, Met.)

By 1906 White was already a major figure in American photography and moved to New York, where he began a close professional and artistic relationship with Alfred Stieglitz that lasted until 1912. His work was published in Camera Work in July 1903, Jan 1905, July 1908, July 1909 and Oct 1910. In 1908 he began teaching photography, founding in ...

Article

Reiko Tomii

(b Kobe, Jan 3, 1967).

Japanese photographer and video artist ( see fig. ). She received degrees in crafts (1989) and art (1991) at Kyoto City University of Arts. During her studies, she created installations with accumulative fibre elements. When she photographed them for documentation, she came to recognize the power of photography. In 1993 she presented a performance work The White Casket , at Art Space Niji, Kyoto. Making a complete departure from her fibre works, she began a Photoshop-manipulated photographic series, Elevator Girls, in 1994. The project lasted for the next seven years, and depicted a group of primly uniformed elevator girls, all looking alike and mysteriously assembled in an elevator and other commercial, urban architectural settings. Frozen in passive or inactive postures, they represent the depersonalized, claustrophobic existence of Japanese women (and women in general), who live in an artificial consumer culture and a patriarchal Japanese society.

In 2000...