Tomatsu Shomei “Shinjuku Turmoil”

Tomatsu Shomei Shinjuku Turmoil 2011
Installation view at MISA SHIN GALLERY
Photo: Keizo Kioku

Tomatsu Shomei Shinjuku Turmoil 2011
Installation view at MISA SHIN GALLERY
Photo: Keizo Kioku

Tomatsu Shomei 東松 照明
Shinjuku Turmoil 新宿騒乱
Thursday, April 21 – Saturday, June 11, 2011


Download Press release (English 164KB)
Download Press release (日本語 237KB)


Tomatsu Shomei was born in 1930 in Nagoya, Japan, and currently lives and works in Okinawa. Tomatsu is considered one of the most important figures in Japanese postwar photography. His works have dealt with such subjects as American military bases, Nagasaki after the bombing, and Okinawa – all present critiques of social issue in postwar Japan.

The exhibition includes 20 vintage prints, which were taken mainly in 1969 and during a period between 1964 and 1971.

Around 1970 was the period when existing values went through a major transformation and young people shared a desire to effect change. The feeling was that the period of Japan’s rapid modernization was coming to an end and that Shinjuku was the symbol of that chaotic time. After Tomatsu graduated from a university in Nagoya, he spent most of his time in Shinjuku, vigorously seeking out incidents to document.

As a photographer, he lived through one of the most passionate periods in Japanese history. His works document a time when the nation was full of energy.

Tomatsu also collaborated with others beyond his chosen field. He worked with other artists, architects, and avant-garde dancers.

An era is portrayed, scenes are recorded, history is traced: Tomatsu’s photographs exert a deep impact on their viewers, and at the same time pose countless questions: What does it mean to take photographs? What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be Japanese?

Tomatsu Shomei
Born in 1930 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Currently lives and works in Okinawa, Japan. Tomatsu was studying economics at Aichi University when he started taking photographs. After working at Iwanami Shashin Bunko (Iwanami Photograph Publicity), he began working as a freelance photographer in the 1950s. Recent major exhibitions include “The Chiseling of Time” at the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum (Nagasaki, Japan, 2010), “Tokyo Mandala” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Tokyo, 2007), “Shomei Tomatsu: Skin of the Nation” at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, 2006). From April 23, 2011, the exhibition “Tomatsu Shomei: Photographer” will be held at Nagoya City Art Museum.






東松 照明
1930年、愛知県生まれ、現在は沖縄在住。戦後の日本を代表する写真家。愛知大学経済学部を卒業後上京し、岩波写真 文庫でカメラスタッフを経て、フリーランスとなる。1950年代から数々の作品を発表し、近年の写真家に多大な影響を 与えた。『時を削る』長崎県美術館(長崎県、2010年)、『東松照明:Tokyo 曼陀羅』(東京都写真美術館、2007年)、『Shomei Tomatsu;Skin of the Nation』サンフランシスコ近代美術館(サンフランシスコ、2004年)などの個展が国内外で開催されている。4月23日より名古屋市美術館で回顧展、『写真家:東松照明 全仕事』が開催。

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