My new project "We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly." will have a solo exhibition at EMON PHOTO GALLERY in Tokyo from 19th Sep. If you are around in Tokyo, please visit anytime.
Hiroshi Okamoto Exhibition "We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly."
EMON AWARD Special Prize Exhibition
2017.09.19tue ~ 09.30sat
Mon ~ Fri: 11:00 ï½ž 19:00
Sat: 11:00 ï½ž 18:00
EMON PHOTO GALLERYï¼ˆhttps://www.emoninc.com/ï¼‰
togo Bldg.,B1 5-11-12 Minamiazabu Minato-Ku, Tokyo
Talk Session Hiroshi Okamoto Ã— Noriaki Imaiï¼ˆNPO DÃ—Pï¼‰
09.19tue 18:00 ï½ž / Entrance: 1000yen
"We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly."
This project is the story about public humiliation to individual in contemporary Japanese society based on my friend's personal experience.
On April 2004, three Japanese citizens were kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. One of three was a just eighteen years old volunteer teenager. He is my friend. Terrorists requested Japanese government to withdraw Japanese military from Iraq but the prime minister strongly rejected this request then. Somehow those kidnapped people were released after eight days peacefully. Those three citizens could come back to Japan safely.
However, when those three people came back to Japan, all Japanese society completely criticized and abused them. Mass of people really interrogated three people about their self-responsibility.
More than one hundred abusing letters were sent to my friend after his coming back. Most of TV shows and news papers were reporting about himself everyday even his privacy information was exposed by anonymous critics through online. When he was anywhere in the city, everyone noticed himself and they really pointed to him with finger pointing.
Pointing the finger to someone's back means same as "backbite" in Japanese. This is very iconic mind in Japanese society. People are always two faced to survive in the society so once they are against you, you will know how many fingers were pointed to you then.
Traditionally Japanese society is based on various local communities for long time. On the other hand, once a member from the community made mistakes and troubles, immediately other members forced the member to be isolated from their community. Then society frantically points the sinful individual as a heretic with finger pointing.
Anyone can be the person who do pointing or whom to be pointed as long as you are a member of our society.
*The main portrait series consists of the actual abusing letters, which my friend really received from anonymous critics after coming back to Japan and the fictional portrait images of anonymous critics then. When my friend was criticized and abused from all society, he often faced this kind of situations anywhere in the country. When he was on the street, restaurant, station, anywhere in the city, people really pointed him as a sinful and iconic individual against our society.
Exhibition WEB :
He was born in Tokyo in 1990. He studied anthropology and social sciences at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific Univesity in Japan. After graduating, he used to work as a director in video production in Tokyo.
His works focus on storytelling with using various visual images from photography and videography, objects.
His main concern is contradictions from social isolation between individual and society.
He works as a visual storyteller to find and create personal narratives to understand society at the anthropological and sociological points of the view.
2017. World Press Photo The Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam The Netherlands "“ Nominee
2017. Fiebre Dummy Award, Madrid Spain "“ Shortlisted
2017. EMON PHOTO AWARD, Tokyo Japan "“ Special Prize
2016. Feria de Libros de Fotos de Autor Felifa, Argentina "“ Honorable Mention
2016. The Anamorphosis Prize, USA "“ Shortlisted
2016. LUMA RENCONTRES DUMMY BOOK AWARD ARLES, Arles France "“ Shortlisted
2016. DUMMY AWARD KASSEL, Kassel Germany "“ 2nd Prize
2016. Photo Espana Best Photography of the Year Award, Madrid Spain "“ Shortlisted