QUELLE JOIE DE VOUS VOIR. PHOTOGRAPHES JAPONAISES DES ANNÉES 1950 À NOS JOURS. until 29 septembre 2024. PALAIS DE L’ARCHEVÊCHE, Arles – France

The exhibition offers a much-needed counterpoint, complement, and challenge to historical precedents and the established canon, an electrifying expansion of our understanding of Japanese photographic history, but also of photo history writ large.

Over the past decade, the world of photography has made a concerted effort to fill critical gaps in its historiography. The excavation and recovery of women’s work serves as a testament to the liberating nature of self-representation and self-expression, and to the importance of photography as a medium to express and share one’s own story: to be heard and to be seen. This restorative survey presents a wide range of photographic approaches brought to bear on the experiences and perspectives of women on their lives and on Japanese society, and showcases their creativity through key images, installation-based works, video, and photobooks.

With a focus on material from the 1950s to now, I’m So Happy You Are Here presents a selection of intergenerational artists—many of whom have been recognized for their vital contributions, while others have developed unique and important practices without substantial public recognition. This collection of historical and contemporary works weaves together three major motifs, observations of everyday life that are both delicate and blunt; critical perspectives on the roles inhabited, and often reinterpreted, by Japanese women; as well as experiments with and extensions of the photographic form. Together, these works provide a solid foundation for a more nuanced and expansive conversation about the contributions of Japanese women to photography.

Photographers: Hara Mikiko (1967), Hiromix (1976), Ishikawa Mao (1953), Ishiuchi Miyako (1947), Katayama Mari (1987), Kawauchi Rinko (1972), Komatsu Hiroko (1969), Kon Michiko (1955), Nagashima Yurie (1973), Narahashi Asako (1959), Ninagawa Mika (1972), Nishimura Tamiko (1948), Noguchi Rika (1971), Nomura Sakiko (1967), Okabe Momo (1981), Okanoue Toshiko (1928), Onodera Yuki (1962), Sawada Tomoko (1977), Shiga Lieko (1980), Sugiura Kunié (1942), Tawada Yuki (1978), Tokiwa Toyoko (1930-2019), Ushioda Tokuko (1940), Watanabe Hitomi (1939), Yamazawa Eiko (1899-1995) et Yanagi Miwa (1967).

This exhibition is organized by Aperture in collaboration with the Rencontres d’Arles. Support from Kering | Women In Motion et de la Fondation franco‑japonaise Sasakawa. Curated by Lesley A. Martin, Takeuchi Mariko, and Pauline Vermare

Publications : Femmes photographes japonaises, des années 1950 à nos jours, Éditions Textuel, 2024 ; I’m So Happy You Are Here: Japanese Women Photographers from the 1950s to Now, Aperture, 2024, Number of pages: 440, Number of images: 518.