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November 21, 2013
by Chris Steele-Perkins
L A Noble Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of photographs made in Japan by world-renowned Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins.
In 1976 he joined the Viva news agency and produced his first book in 1979 – entitled The Teds. In the same year he joined Magnum photos and, for the next 20 years, began to work extensively in the developing world – covering conflicts in Africa, Lebanon and Central America, while also continuing his personal work in Britain. At the end of the 1990’s he began to work heavily in Japan, this work resulted in two books: Fuji (2001) and Tokyo Love Hello (2007).
Coinciding with his exploration of Japanese culture his work also began to examine the increasing encroachment upon and damage to the natural environment, as a result of human ‘progress’. Steele-Perkins repeatedly used Mount Fuji as a visual anchor within his images, in the manner of acclaimed Japanese artists Hokusai Katsushika and Utagawa Hiroshige, whose wood block prints showed the mountain in the context of early to late to mid-nineteenth century Japanese society.
In Steele-Perkins' modern representation we see the mountain, which has an almost divine status in Japan, surrounded by theme parks, holiday resort towns and golf courses – it is even used as a military test range by Japanese and America armed forces. He continued to explore Japan, streetwalking Tokyo as well as examining sub-cutural cliches such as Geisha, and Sumo. A sense of contradiction is present throughout the work, showing Japan as a country at odds with itself – on the one hand pushing relentlessly to the future, while on the other trying to cling onto its cultural traditions. Steele-Perkins embraces these contradictions, from the beautiful to the absurd and the ancient to the modern.
from November 21 to December 21st
Maybe A Vole, 51 King Henry’s Walk, London, N1 4NH. Open 11am – 6pm Tuesday to Saturday
Artist talk Date 26 November
£5 per person
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For further information on the exhibition / interviews / hi-res images / quotes
Tel: +44(0) 7999 099975