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Meeting Modernity: Los Angeles Opening

Meeting Modernity

The Meeting Modernity series of found photographs is the focus of Néojaponisme’s first traveling exhibition. Recently unearthed outside of the city of Sano in Tochigi-ken, this series of pictures documents Japan as it engaged with modernization and commercial photography in the Meiji and Taishō Periods. The series is comprised of portrait photography in particular.

The exhibition debuts tomorrow at Young Art, a gallery in Los Angeles’ Highland Park.

Meeting Modernity is accompanied by a trio of essays by Ian Lynam, W. David Marx, and Matt Treyvaud reflecting the collection of photographs, the history of Japanese photography, commercial art, and Japanese society.

A limited edition of full-color Meeting Modernity postcard sets has been created for the exhibition and will be available at the gallery.

September 13- October 4 2008
Opening Reception:
Saturday, September 13, 2008 7-10pm

Young Art Gallery
747 North Avenue 50 Los Angeles CA 90042

September 11, 2008

Ian Lynam is a graphic designer living in Tokyo and the art director of Neojaponisme. His website is located at ianlynam.com. His new book, Parallel Strokes, on the intersection of graffiti and typography is available now.

3 Responses

  1. Catherine Guiral Says:

    This is most excellent! Your exhibition should travel to France :)

  2. Eggbert Says:

    Thanks for the explanation.So they weren’t “unearthed” then, were they ? I got the impression they had been dug up.

    To me they are just a selection of old photographs of some random group of people. I don’t think it is fucked to put families’ portraits out in public, although I can see why some people might find it disrespectful.

    The idea that these pictures are interesting just because they are of Japanese people seems a little naive to me. A bit like the “ooh look a geisha with a mobile phone, old meets new” kind of thing.

    I suppose they have some aesthetic value in the way that any old photo is intriuging as you get a glimpse of old haircuts and costumes, but beyond that I think it’s mutton dressed as a popstar

    Who is David by the way ?

  3. Ian LYNAM Says:

    Sweet, mutton it is, then. David is a smoking monkey we keep in our employ. He loves a good mutton sandwich when the mutton is lean and the lettuce is crisp.

    Who are you, by the way?

    Seriously, though, David is the other founder of this website. The reasons these photos were chosen to be exhibited are because the clothing and style of pose in the photographs match the nascent rise of photography in Japan. Though, frankly, I was initially drawn to them because they are an interesting collection visually. Happily, it’s one of the rare cases where concept and aesthetic collide.