One of my jobs when I’m not researching, writing, photographing, or washing the dishes at home is running the exhibition committee of the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan. Each month we have a different photo exhibition. I’m going to blog them as they happen.
Here are two photos from this month’s show, “Showa Japan seen through Dutch Eyes” (until Feb 28th 2009)
The photos are reproduced here with the kind permission of Hans Brinckmann. Please check out his site.
[From the correspondent’s club notice]
This month’s photographs were taken between 1951 and 1974 by two Dutch residents of Japan, Hans Brinckmann and Ysbrand Rogge. Hans Brinckmann joined a Dutch bank and was assigned to their Kobe branch in 1950, aged 18, at a time when Japan was still recovering from the devastation of war. In 1957, a fellow countryman, Ysbrand Rogge, was sent to work at the same branch.
Brinckmann and Rogge became fascinated with Japanese life and culture, using their weekends to travel around the country capturing images of the lifestyles of ordinary Japanese at work and play. They documented scenery, traditional arts and crafts, festivals, religious ceremonies — and in 1960, the mass demonstrations against the US -Japan Security Treaty.
The great thing about this exhibition is the simplicity and charm of the photographs. Neither Brickman nor Rogge were professional photographers. They were just observing and rather skillfully recording their impressions. I’m not sure that could ever happen in today’s media savvy Flickr saturated world.
(P.S. the FCCJ is a private club, but the exhibitions are open to visitors who check-in at the front desk)