Asako Narahashi exhibits at IBASHO Gallery

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In September IBASHO gallery will be the place for a photo exposition of photographer Asako Narahashi.

Asako Narahashi (1959) is a Tokyo-based photographer whose work mainly focuses on the relationship between water and land. The main part of her work is shot from the water offering a different and unexpected viewpoint on the land. Whilst looking at Narahashi’s photographs they bring us the amazement of a reversed vision and the sense of disorientation. Although Narahashi also takes photographs on land parallel to her water photographs, they both resonate a unique sense of distance and instability. The series on the iconic Mount Fuji that she photographed between 2003 and 2013 both from the water and land is a good example of the ambivalent feelings of seasickness and floating comfortably, Narahashi’s work evokes with the viewer.

With this body of colour work, Narahashi gained international recognition and with which she has become a part of the canon of Japanese photography. Works from her series ‘half awake and half asleep in the water’, ‘Ever After’, ‘Towards the Mountain’ and ‘Biwako’ will be shown. Narahashi has made this body of work mainly from the water which has given a very different perspective to the genre of landscape photography.

Since beginning the project in 2001, the artist has photographed over fifty locations worldwide with a Nikonos 35mm waterproof film camera. Narahashi floats chest deep in the ocean while facing back towards the shore, her camera held half-submerged in the water. By watching the waves without using the viewfinder, the artist times her pictures according to the swells of the ocean tide.

At the IBASHO exhibition, there will also be a selection of Narahashi’s vintage prints on view from her series NU・E, the starting point of Narahashi Asako’s work. Narahashi began exploring photography as an art student and in the mid-1980’s she joined the photography group Photo Session led by the renowned photographer Daido Moriyama. In this period Narahashi solely worked in black-and-white. The nue in Japan is a traditional, mysterious creature. It’s a fictitious animal with a monkey’s head, the body of a racoon, the paws of a tiger and the tail of a snake. Nobody has ever seen it because it’s a figment of the imagination. This is the reason why the word “nue-like” in Japanese is used to talk about someone or something unidentifiable. The spirit of nu-e visible in the landscape of Japan can only be captured through photography, and years after the series began, one can feel strongly the wonder and eeriness of the unique world expressed in Narahashi’s early works.

The exhibition will be opened on Thursday September 7 till Sunday October 15 2017. IBASHO can be found at Tolstraat 67 in Antwerp and is opened from Friday till Sunday from 14.00 till 18.00 and by appointment.


Francisca Hagen

Started with AVO in 2003. Now active as writer, reporter, reviewer, promotor, photographer and tries to rule the world with a forum. Can be found regurarly at conventions and concerts in the Netherlands and sometimes Belgium. Big passion for Japan and music. You can follow me on Twitter: @Seraphinne

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