BY DAVID WALKER
QUESTION & ANSWER
A GALLERY CHALLENGES JAPAN’S
ART PHOTO TRADITION
Online News Digest
Since the Ricoh camera company
opened it in 2008, Tokyo’s RING
CUBE Gallery has been introducing
Japanese audiences to the work of
foreign photographers, including
Alex Majoli, Alex Prager, Kenneth
Cappello, Ari Marcopoulos and
Peter Sutherland. Gallery director
Masanori Hashimoto explains
the gallery’s ambitious mission
to change the culture of fine art
photography in Japan.
—Interview by Conor Risch;
translated by Reiko Tsukamoto
© COUrTESy MASANOri HASHiMOTO
The following are excerpted from breaking
news stories posted recently on PDNOnline.
To read the complete stories and to find more
news, posted daily, check out www.pdnonline.
© ElliO T T Er Wi T T/MAGNUM PHO TOS
USA. New York City. 1988. Elliott Erwitt is known for
his whimsical images, especially of dogs.
PDN: Why did Ricoh choose to open RING CUBE
MASANORI HASHIMOTO: Ricoh has been producing cameras for a long time, but we didn’t have a
place to organize workshops or a place to show photographic works.
RING CUBE Gallery’s Masanori Hashimoto thinks seeing
foreign photogs’ work encourages young Japanese shooters.
Elliott Erwitt Print Archive
Donated to Ransom Center
Erwitt sold his entire print archive to a hedge
fund billionaire last year as part of a deal
to eventually donate the collection to the
museum in Austin, Texas.
PDN: What is the mission of the gallery?
MH: [It] is to show photography that hasn’t been
seen in Japan or that other galleries haven’t shown
in Japan. Most [galleries in Japan] show photographs
in the same frames, and they just change the photographs when they change an exhibition. I wanted
to create a different space each time we put up an
exhibition so that the viewers would have the sense
that each exhibition is different.
We try a very different plan each time. And sometimes we show very young photographers, or we
show photography that children can touch, or we
introduce overseas photographers. When I see other
galleries, I realize the audience numbers are declining, so I wanted to create a space that more people
PDN: Why do you think fewer people are going to
MH: I think one reason is that they don’t show the
kinds of photographs that young people want to
see or have an interest in. Usually they exhibit pho-
tographs…so that people who study photographs
might want to see them, like a textbook. But the gen-
eral public will not go and see this. I want to make
more people interested, so I have to find photogra-
phy that appeals to many people. Viewers’ interests
PDN: Why is it of special importance to you to bring
in photographers from abroad?
MH: We have many good photographers in Japan,
but it’s very hard to make a living out of [fine-art]
photography. We have a very small market compared
to the United States, and so many people quit photography because they are not acknowledged and
don’t get recognition. In Japan, it takes a long time
to be recognized and accepted in the industry. I really
want to show them that there are young overseas
photographers so they feel empowered by the possibilities and also get ideas.
Of course, young people can see overseas photographers’ work on the Internet, but I think it’s very
Beatles Photographer Robert Whitaker Dies
Association report. http://t.co/wZGQDpoN
Burma Sentences Photog to
Best known for
scenes images and
album cover shots
he made of The
Beatles from 1964
to 1966, when the
band was rising
died September 20 in the UK. The cause of
death was cancer, according to a UK Press
© CAPi TOl/PHO TO By rOBEr T WHi TAKEr
Additional 10 Years
Already serving an eight-year sentence for
violating Burma’s (Myanmar’s) “Unlawful
continued on page 20