site/sight: Photography Today  



Click. In that instant that you push the camera's button you capture time and space. An exhibition at the MoMAT, 'site/sight' focuses on place and perspective to survey contemporary Japanese photography.

Hands grapple yogurt lids, coffee splashes into cups, socked feet stand in front of an opened refrigerator, a pair of legs wearing only a few Band-Aids -- Norio Kobayashi photographs life in his kitchen. He captures the flurry of daily activity at the control center of his home. These are published regularly on his website and are on show in this exhibition printed onto large format matte paper and displayed on the wall and floor of the gallery.

However, this is no 'webcam' voyeurism . These are insights, scenes often from quirky odd angles -- of the comings and goings of household Kobayashi. Color jumps from the images. Blazing reds and blues heighten the activity. Remarkable images of unremarkable moments are captured by Kobayashi's keen eye.
A moment of study, his wife consults a cookbook recipe, poised with hands covered in flour. In another she is caught, head in a bowl, woofing the last of her rice.

'Military bases and sacred grounds' is the title and subject of the series by Chihiro Minato. The best of these capture aspects of being outside looking in, such as her images of Okinawan bases with people standing at the perimeter fences looking in. Restricted from access to military installations, people become tourists in their own country.

In a breathtaking series of works, Kunihiko Katsumata, uses photography to document change. In his images, the viewer must spot the differences and search for the similarities of scenes photographed at different times. Katsumata focussed his lens on Kobe in the late 1990's and returned to many of these sites recently. His series titled 'Phases', Katsumata documented many examples of the rapid change in the city. Higashinada 1998 and 2001 is an amazing example. A 1998 photograph, taken in the evening, depicts warehouses filling acres of land. In the distance are two groups of high-rise apartment blocks. A 2001 image, taken at the same time of day, shows no warehouses, just a broad vacant field. The background contains only one apartment block from the previous image but includes a horizon of new ones. By ripping up a series of photographs into strips and reassembling them, Yoshiko Ito creates panoramas, which capture a series of events unfolding over time. Hiroyo Kaneko focuses her lens on Nagasaki and links the people places and history of the city in and insightful series of images. Captured in over 60 paintings, Mont Sainte-Victoire in Aix-en-Provence, France, has become synonymous with the great French 19th century painter Paul Cezanne. Risaku Susuki revisits and documents aspects of the area which so obsessed Cezanne. Risau's work is part homage and part a recapturing of the mountain landscape. Land is also recaptured in the images of Noguchi Rika. She records a series of events as silent witness watching from a distance. Her series on display records workers on a land reclamation site. 'Spilt Milk' is the unusual title of Tsukasa Yokozawa's visually stunning images of cities photographed from the air at night. His images are abstracts of light and color , capturing a specific moment of descent in a plane. In all eight photographers are included in this large and elegantly displayed exhibition, curated by Rei Masuda. Each photographer makes an eloquent visual comment on the unique nature of photography to document







National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo