asia pacific photography


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A selection of the Asia Pacific photos from Photograms of the Year

West Coast USA - Japanese


This is a selection of photographs scanned from Photograms of the Year - representing a cross section of Japanese American photographers from the West Coast of the USA. Noting that the photographers would have been packed off to internment camps during World War II and forbidden to own cameras for the duration.

Following taken from an online review New York Times 1988

"They readily adopted its compositional tropes and its attention to chiaroscuro and texture, producing images with affinities to Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sumi-e painting.

Ironically, the elements of Japanese style in these photographs come not from any inherent or native tradition, but from American Pictorialism's own Japonisme, which was largely inspired by the paintings of Whistler and the Post-Impressionists.

Edward Weston, also a Pictorialist early in his career, was a direct influence on many Japanese-Americans in the Los Angeles area, including Toyo Miyatake, one of the show's most interesting figures.

Miyatake's untitled abstraction of 1925 is a striking example of how Cubism and Pictorialism could be brought together, if not quite reconciled. Weston's influence extended as far north as Seattle, as can be seen in Frank Kunishige's soft-focus 1927 image of a lithe barely draped woman, which recalls Weston's much earlier portraits of Margarethe Mather.

Another photographer who stands out for his adaptive talents is Hiromu Kira. Unlike Miyatake, Kira eschewed pure abstraction, but his patterned compositions of dishware seem as modern as any Bauhaus light study. Two images of folded-paper birds, from 1927, are especially endearing; they combine elements of hard-edged geometric abstraction with the lyrical, transformative evocations of origami."


another reference LA Times 1986


Asaishi, K.         JARS 1926


Asaishi, K.        LINES AND ANGLES 1927


Izumi, S.         THE SHADOW 1933


Kato, Taizo          SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW 1921


Kimura, H.E.        THE AVIATOR 1931


Kimura, Takeshi         THE GREEN BEAM 1927


Kira, H.              PHIALS 1928


Kira, Hiromu         CURVES 1930



Kira, Hiromu        AN ARRANGEMENT 1929


Kono, A.         POND FANTASY 1931


Kono, A.           SUMMER TIME 1928


Kunishigie, F.A.       THE BROKEN BOWL 1925


Mayeda, H.T.         DESIGN 1926


Mayeda, T.           DESIGN STUDY 1928


Mayeda, T.             WHIRLPOOL OF OIL BUBBLES 1929


Miyamoto, H.         LINE STUDY 1926


Miyatake, T.           TORIOL 1926


Morita, R.        TWILIGHT PATTERN 1930


Nakagawa, S.            DEPARTURE 1929


Nakamura, K.          BREAKING WAVE 1929


Nakamura, K.       EVENING WAVES 1927


Nakamura, K.    THE DANCER 1932


Nohira, T.         JAPANESE JARS 1931


Ogasawara, F.T.      A PORTRAIT OF MRS B.   1923


Ohara, K.        THE HARBOUR 1928


Ohara, Kichiji       EVENING  SHADOWS 1929


Onishi, H.       SILVER AND GLASS 1927


Ota, K.        WIRE 1928


Ota, K.        THE VINE 1926


Shimojima, Kaye           DESIGN  JAPONICA 1925


Shindo, T.K.        THE SHADOW 1931


Shindo, T.K.         DRAGON FLY 1933


Shindo, T.K.         NIGASA 1927


Shindo, T.K.          OIL AND WATER 1932


Shindo, T.K.       STILL LIFE 1928


Shindo, T.K.         Still Life 1942


Shindo, T.K.      SUMMER EMOTIONS 1929


Shindo,T.K.         BOWMAN 1934


Tanaka, K.          WATER 1926


Tanaka, K.        WATER-LILY 1927


Tsukane, T.K.      SERPENTINE AND DADO 1928


Uyeda, S.       OIL  DITCH 1927


Yaginuma, R.M.         REPOSE 1932


Yaginuma, R.M.       STILL  LIFE 1930



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japan  |   new zealand  |  singapore west coast USA  |   west coast japanese USA