Last weekend, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opened the exhibition, “Naoya Hatakeyama: Natural Stories,” which features breathtaking landscape snapshots taken by one of Japan’s most prominent photographers. In his work, Naoya Hatakeyama explores the relationship between land and its inhabitants, and the balance of power within it.
Although highly recognized in his country, Hatakeyama is not quite as known in the United States. Curator Lisa Sutcliffe met with the photographer in Japan in 2011 and began putting his work together at the SFMOMA. This wonderful exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, should be able to turn some heads.
The exhibition includes one hundred photographs and two video installations that highlight his twenty-five years of work capturing the natural changes of the land. Hatakeyama began his work in 1986 with the Lime Hills series, which the show juxtaposes with his most recent pieces from this past year.
These photographs are reflective, as they are shaped by the need for natural resources within the landscapes, and portray how much power its forces have over humanity. For example, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which destroyed his hometown and took his mother’s life, was an event that transformed the show, and ultimately led to the name, Natural stories.
As a sharp observer of landscapes in transition, the images are thought-provoking and inspiring. Hatakeyama’s work displays certain perspectives that people do not usually see, offering insights into Japan’s rich history and the ways nature and humankind both conflict and coexist.
This exhibition will be running until November 4th, 2012. We hope many of you will get the chance to experience its splendor.
For those who are avid fans of landscape photography, visit one of our London exhibitors, Emily Sian Wilcox.