Sunday, 5 February 2012

Ken Kitano & Sohei Nishino

Last weekend we went to the Tokyo Photography Museum in Ebisu to see an exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Photography. There were five exhibitors, two of whom I was really impressed with Ken Kitano and  Sohei Nishino.   Highly recommended if they have an exhibition that you can get to.

 Ken Kitano  mostly does portrait photography. The images appear as a single person but are actually compositions of many people.  The first is of a soldier in Tiananmen Square, the second a girl with a candle on Hiroshima day.  

Ken Kitano

The second photographer, Sohei Nishi, had made photographic dioramas of a number of different cities - London, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, Istanbul.  The intricate detail is captivating.

Sohei Nishino London

Diorama Map - Tokyo

Kagetsu karintou

Hiro's birthday and a regrettable lack of imagination gave a perfect excuse to venture yet again to the back strees of Ueno-Hirokoji to Kagetsu,  one of my two favourite (to date) karintou shops in Tokyo.  Karinto is like a kind of rice cracker I guess, usually sweet.  It's a fail proof gift for Hiro - his favourite, sazare  -   a word which always reminds me of  arare  (dry sleet) and mizore (dry sleet) .(Before coming to Japan it had never occured to me that there would be a need to distinguish between the two.)   I am not actually sure what sazare means though.  The sazare (picture from their home page) is wrapped in yellow washi.  The packaging alone makes me want to buy it.
Kagetsu shopfront

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Remains of the snow

It snowed last week, but I had the flu so didn't go out to look at it. 
It was a substantial dusting, the kind that looks like icing sugar rather than anything you could make a snow man with.  A week later it still hasn't melted completely.  It's been a cold cold week.  Ice crystals, piles of snow, flowers poking through. I admire their constitution.

Electricity poles

I have no idea why in a country that is so advanced that it has eye scan technology for proof of age on tobacco vending machines isn't able to do something about this mess of overhead lines. Given the state of national accounts though, it's probably fair to say that there are better ways to spend the tax yen.

(You know you've been in Japan when you are no longer sure if you spell it tobacco or tabacco..)
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