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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Naoya Hatakeyama

b. 1958, Japan

Born in 1958 in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Hatakeyama has been exploring the relationship between nature and contemporary residential environments. He photographs places ranging from material-production sites such as stone quarries, coal-mine facilities, and steel plants to “end products” such as a major avenue in Tokyo. By capturing both production sites and end products, Hatakeyama’s photographs are reminders that even the most polished residential environments derive from raw nature. Although Hatakeyama’s images depict humans’ constant manipulation of nature’s solemnity, his contemplative and formalistic eye eschews outright criticism of efforts to reshape natural environments. In essence, his photography questions the notion of urbanity and quietly observes the negotiation between “nature” and “culture.” The negotiation reached a critical point when the giant Tōhoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck his hometown in March 2011. Hatakeyama captured the devastation visited upon the city after the quake. This entirely unexpected—and, thus, improvised—series of photographs exceptionally reveals an outcome of such negotiation and imbalance.

Hatakeyama was born in Rikuzentakata City, where limestone mines and cement factories were prominent. Indeed, as a high school student, he often sketched those facilities. Hatakeyama studied photography at the University of Tsukuba and completed his master’s degree in fine arts in 1984. Kiyoji Ōtsuji, a photographer associated with the vanguard Japanese art group Jikken Kōbō, played a crucial role as a mentor to Hatakeyama during his studies.

Hatakeyama started to photograph limestone quarries in 1986, and the result was his first series, Lime Hills (Quarry Series) (1986–1991). In it, Hatakeyama captured the quarries from multiple vantage points: the photographs showcase the beauty of the artificially textured land’s excavated curves as they stretch out in varying directions. The limestone quarries are points of origin for both Hatakeyama and indeed the entire country, as the photographer was born and raised near the quarries and as limestone has been one of Japan’s rare abundant resources.

In the series entitled Blast (1995–present), Hatakeyama has been expanding his photographic involvement with limestone quarries, capturing the very moment at which manufacturers detonate explosives at the sites. In this series, Hatakeyama has been using motor drives and remote-control technology to capture the moments of detonation from a distance. The stunningly beautiful images highlight the ability of cameras to capture scenes that cannot be seen by the human eye. In this way, Hatakeyama has been visualizing the delicate balance between nature and human intervention—a balance in which the sublimity of nature stands in a curious state of co-existence with explosive violence.

Hatakeyama produced the series Terrils (2009-2010) while residing in France’s Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in 2009 and 2010. Hatakeyama photographed conical slagheaps in the region where the coal mining industry had once flourished. His images illustrate an interesting symbiosis between people and slagheaps: some of the slagheaps are covered with trees and naturalized whereas one of the slagheaps has been turned into a ski slope.

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Featured Artworks

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Underground / Water #6811 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaUnderground / Water #6811, 1999 C-print
110 x 110 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #19507 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #19507, 2010 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #16931 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #16931, 2010 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #11011 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #11011, 2009 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #07724 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #07724, 2009 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #06409 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #06409, 2009 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #05516 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #05516, 2009 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery
Terrils #04601 by Naoya Hatakeyama contemporary artwork
Naoya HatakeyamaTerrils #04601, 2009 Lambda print
60 x 75 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Closed
25 June–27 July 2019 Group Exhibition Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! Taka Ishii Gallery, Photography / Film, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Closed
25 June–27 July 2019 Group Exhibition Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Roppongi New Space Inaugural Exhibition: 'MOVED' at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Closed
21 October–19 November 2016 Group Exhibition Roppongi New Space Inaugural Exhibition: 'MOVED' Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo

Represented By

In Related Press

From Monumental to Microscopic, These Works Changed the History of Art in Japan Related Press From Monumental to Microscopic, These Works Changed the History of Art in Japan Frieze : 13 March 2019

Curated by Mika Yoshitake, Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s forms a corollary to her 2012 Blum & Poe exhibition Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha, which presented a much-needed introduction to a group of postwar Japanese artists whose works have now been aligned with more recognizable Western European movements such as Arte...

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At the MFA, Japanese photographers on the 2011 earthquake, tsunami Related Press At the MFA, Japanese photographers on the 2011 earthquake, tsunami The Boston Globe : 12 April 2015

Before looking at the nearly 100 photographs that make up “In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11,” a visitor to the Museum of Fine Arts should go to the television monitor by the Museum Road side of the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery.The monitor shows real-time aerial footage that the Japanese network NHK broadcast in...

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