Keiichi Tahara: Photosynthesis with Min Tanaka

Dates : September 9 (Saturday) – December 24 (Sunday), 2017

In 1971, at the age of 20, Keiichi Tahara went to France. Fascinated by the light in Europe, the quality of which was unlike any he had seen in Japan, he made the nature of light itself a focus of exploration, and with Paris as his base, went on to win high acclaim for his photographic work. Min Tanaka, on the other hand, began his activities as a modern dancer during the 1960s. His career took off in 1974 with the development of a unique new style of dance expression that attracted wide attention.
By chance during the autumn of 1978, the two artists met and decided to explore the relationship between physical light and the human body. In photo shoots that continued from 1978 to 1980, the photographer captured on film images of the dancer reacting to different kinds of light, atmospheres and seasons within various urban and natural environments in Europe, America, and Japan, images that were stowed away unseen over the years. In 2016, after a hiatus of 36 years, the two decided to “return to their origins,” to resume their photo sessions and begin making new work again. They also published the photo book Photosynthesis 1978 -1980.
Until his passing due to illness this past June, Tahara had been making preparations for this exhibition which will present 46 carefully selected photographs (all black-and-white), 41 of which were taken during the ’78 – ’80 period and 5 in the year 2016. To mark the culmination of his collaboration with Tahara, Min Tanaka will hold several dance performances over the course of the exhibition, providing a rare chance to view this legendary artist who first danced at the museum in the Fifth Hara Annual exhibition in 1985.
An exhibition catalogue for this show will be published by SUPER LABO.

Keiichi Tahara

Born in Kyoto in 1951, Tahara was a recipient of many awards, including the Grand Prix des Jeunes Photographes in Arles, France (1977), the Kimura Ihei Prize in Japan (1985) and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France (1993). In recent years, he had expanded his activities into the fields of sculpture and environmental art as an extension of his exploration of light. In 2004, he held the solo exhibition Keiichi Tahara – Light Sculptures
at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, and in 2017, the solo exhibition Photosynthesis 1987-1980 at the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic. He passed away in 2017.

Min Tanaka

Born in Tokyo in 1945, Tanaka studied classical ballet and modern dance and started his activities as a dancer in the 1960s. In the 1970s, he developed a unique style of dance of his own, garnering critical acclaim both in Japan and abroad. In 1978, he moved to a mountain village where he began and continues to explore dance through a farming life. He is also an actor, first appearing in Twilight Samurai directed by Yoji Yamada in 2002. His many awards include the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, France (1990). He is also the author of such books as I Was Naked All The Way (2011) and Conscious Body, Contagious Mind (2013).

Featured artist

Keiichi Tahara

Organized by

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

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