James Whitlow Delano exhibition at the FCCJ

This month’s exhibition at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Tokyo is by James Whitlow Delano.

I met James an FCCJ exhibition a few months ago and he very generously agreed to show his photos at the club. He’s a renowned photojournalist with a unique style, not to mention a great guy to work with. Here’s some of his very recently published work.

He’s based in Tokyo but spends much of his time travelling around the world. He uses – and only uses – a Leica, 35mm lens and black and white film.

(If you are interested in how James got where he is today, there’s a great interview on Digital Journalist. James turned down Harvard for photography, worked with Annie Leibovitz and Paul Jasmin in the US, then upped sticks to Japan, bought a Leica M2 and worked as a English teacher while building his photojournalism portfolio.)

This photo is of the aftermath of Cylone Nargis series, the storm that devastated Myanmar last May. The photos are on display in the main bar. They were were taken in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone. As he told me while we were hanging the exhibition,: “I saw more death that day than I’d seen in my life before”.


From the exhibition notice:

“On 2 May 2008 Cyclone Nargis, a category four storm, slammed into Burma’s (Myanmar) Irrawaddy River Delta which had received little or no warning to prepare by the government controlled media. The wind, rain, and 3m high storm surge took the lives of 130,000 mostly women, children and the elderly. Nargis severely affected at least 1.4 million people, crippling the former capital of Yangon. The government prevented desperately needed international aid entering the country in the aftermath.

By midnight, the windows of the Rangoon hotel room rattled violently. By 2am, trees could be heard snapping in two and tumbling down, some of them a century or more old. At dawn, a wicked wind sent sheet metal panels, torn from rooftops flying like newspapers but trailing sparks down the street. The next six days, were spent south by small boat down into the core of the storm zone.”

There’s a separate exhibition in the sushi bar of photos from James’ photobook: “I Viaggi di Tiziano Terzani”

From the exhibition notice:

“Before his death in 2004, iconic Italian foreign correspondent and former resident of Japan, Tiziano Terzani reported on Asia and Russia for almost four decades, illuminating the peoples, the cultures and major events in this diverse region. This series features work from a book of 180 photographs from 19 countries covered by Terzani. It is a collaboration between the family and friends of Tiziano Terzani: his wife, Angela Terzani Staube, his son, Folco Terzani, Grazia Neri, Renzo Guidieri; and the photographer. The photographs describe our parallel journeys through a part of the world that drew both of us in and never released either of us from its grip.”


The book is only available through an Italian language site, but James says he’d be happy to provide an English translation/explanation how to complete the transaction.

James has a Photoshelter archive. You might want to check out these galleries too:

Empire: Impressions from China

Selling Spring: Sex Workers Story

Tokyo Homeless: Everywhere and Nowhere

One Response to “James Whitlow Delano exhibition at the FCCJ”

  1. David Luttmann says:

    James’ work is stunning. It must be seen in person to appreciate!

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