One of the things I anticipate from this workshop is a succession of realizations: bolts from the blue that nudge me to notice the obvious, remind me of things I've encountered but forgotten, and unsettle my comfortable complacency in re: things photographic. One of these arrived in the form of Gil's post on his favorite photographers, which included Yamamoto Masao and Sugimoto Hiroshi ... names I'd vaguely noted but knew no work by. Hmmmm, I thought... Japanese photography... shouldn't I KNOW more about that? ...and then the bolt from the blue that I'd in fact been [uncharacteristically] incurious about Japanese photography. I'm pretty firmly grounded in European and North American photographic history, and slightly in recondite areas like African portraiture, but (gulp) Australian? Indonesian? Chinese? not so much. Time to repair deficiencies.
My main avenue for learning about photography has been books (thanks to Amazon and a few specialist bookstores), though I have electronic access to resources I've only scratched the surface of, including Aperture, Lenswork, Luminous Landscape, and a fistful of photography blogs. And of course whatever Google brings me in answer to searches. So I went hunting for 'japanese photography' and found a number of sites to follow up at leisure:
New Japanese Photography (Szarkowski, 1974) is on its way from Powell's.Does anybody have other suggestions in the book line?
The toothsome The Japanese Photobook (at $96... Steidl 2017 and see Graphis.com review) and The History of Japanese Photography (at $50) are a bit pricey sight-unseen and without a very strong recommendation by somebody who knows them well. And as for For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979 at $775...
Another source worth exploring is A/Fixed, which includes a tabloid-format publication
A/fixed is a production of The Japanese Photography Project (JPP), a collaborative effort between Philadelphia-based Project Basho and Kyoto's Benrido Collotype Atelier. JPP aims to bring noteworthy photographers and Japanese photographic trends placed within the larger context of Japanese culture and history to a larger, English-speaking audience.See also The Provoke Generation Catalog pdf.
And for those who love long reads and are curious about a Japanese take on Szarkowski's 1974 MOMA New Japanese Photography show: Distinctiveness versus Universality: Reconsidering New Japanese Photography by Yoshiaki Kai, Volume 3, Issue 2: Local Culture/Global Photography, Spring 2013.
Then it occurred to me to see what YouTube might have, and I found a goldmine of possibilities. I knew the name Daido Moriyama, and Amazon has quite a few books of his work, but these YouTube videos are an excellent introduction to him:
See the convincing Daido Moriyama in Pictures (12 minutes, really remarkable), and Memories of a Dog, and the longer Near Equal (85 minutes).