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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Exhibition: Osamu Kanemura – “Spider’s Strategy”

April 11 – June 2, 2007

Opening Reception: Wednesday April 11, 6-8 PM

 

The Cohen Amador Gallery is pleased to announce the first gallery exhibition of Japanese Photographer Osamu Kanemura’s Japanese street photography.  The photographs, published in his book Spider’s Strategy, fall within the arc of street photography’s widespread popularization in the second half of the twentieth century.  Yet Kanemura’s specific urban imagery does not solely focus on the idiosyncrasies of street dwellers, as many other photographers have done; rather, he utilizes the visual language of street photography to illustrate the gargantuan personality of Japan and Tokyo in particular as a metropolitan totality. 

 

From cascading windows on architectural facades to the endless narrow streets extending toward an invisible horizon, Kanemura’s imagery illustrates Tokyo’s urban network: its hyperbolic extension and expansion that appears surprisingly ordered and maintained. His visual project, an urban effigy, is best viewed in grid-like groups as each image begs a dialogue with others so as to relay subtle and overt differences as well as genial similarities.  This form of presentation harkens back to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s architectural analyses of similar yet subtly distinct industrial forms.  Despite this architectural similarity, Kanemura projects himself into his art and personalizes his social investigation: photographing from within, rather than distanced from his subject.  Though the specific images are unique, with elevated train trestles, noodle shops and karaoke bars attesting to their diversity, the connecting ties among the images are salaciously potent and bring Tokyo to life apart from the residents living there.  The telephone and electrical wires that spread overhead form the allegorical makeup of Kanemura’s project.  As his book’s title suggests, they are analogous to a spider’s web and hint at the invisible workings of a surreptitiously living entity.  In this way the images appear like microscopic bisections of a massive body, each unit revealing more of the colossal being. 

 

Indeed, this grand Platonic visualization, an anthropomorphic look at one of the greatest metropolises in the world, breathes personality into metropolises generally described as "chaotic” and “confusing.” Kanemura works to calmly implicate the profound order and metaphorically organic unity of urban Japan and, like the sublime functioning of the human body, Kanemura’s imagery visually engages us in a spatial sublime of vast proportions.  As Janet Koplos wrote of Kanemura in Art in America: “There are no grand boulevards as in Paris or orderly grids as in Manhattan. Tokyo, like most Asian cities, is a product of growth, not design.”  Kanemura captures this growth and visually implicates the immensity of its interconnections, those webs of wires and cables spinning out above.

 

An instant collector’s item, Spider’s Strategy was recently highlighted in Martin Par’s encyclopedic “The Photo-Book: A History volume II.” In addition, Kanemura has published three other books and was the recipient of the 2000 Ken Domon Prize as well as dual “New Photographer Awards” in 1997 from The Photographic Society of Japan and the 13th Kigashikawa International Photography Festival.  He is included in the collections of major international institutions such as the Yokohama Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Fukuoka Art Museum, The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Domon Ken Photography Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

 

The Cohen Amador Gallery is located in the landmark Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street on the 6th floor.  Gallery hours are 11 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.  For additional information, please contact the gallery at (212) 759-6740, visit www.cohenamador.com or contact us at info@cohenamador.com.

 

 
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