Witness a period of socio-political upheaval in 20th-century Japan, through photographs from the Yokohama Museum of Art.
Inspired by the Japanese word for flooding, overflow, or deluge, Hanran reflects 20th-century Japan, from the early 1930s to the 1990s, through the lenses of 28 significant photographers. See this unforgettable exhibition, on view for the first time outside Japan, which calls attention to the costs of nuclear warfare and Japan’s extraordinary recovery – all unfolding in front of the camera's mechanical eye.
After its introduction to Japan in 1848, photography served documentary, political, photojournalistic and aesthetic purposes, as it did in the West. It captured public imagination through mass media, magazines, photobooks and an important amateur market.
Pictorialism, a painterly approach that legitimized photography as fine art, gave way to the avant-garde Shinko Shashin (New Photography) of the 1930s, which is where Hanran begins. Waves of photographic activity ebb and flow between realism and fabrication, tradition and modernity – from the shadows of war and its grim realities, to the radical are-bure-boke (grainy, blurry, out of focus) photos of Takuma Nakahira, to the contemporary focus on everyday issues, as well as gender and urban life. These photographers expanded the medium’s creative parameters, while Japanese industry developed some of the best camera equipment and film in the world.
Adapted from an extensive 2017 Yokohama Museum of Art exhibition, this presentation of more than 200 works invites visitors to learn more about a most expressive and innovative photographic culture.