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Friday, August 05, 2022

波士頓美術博物館宣佈收藏廣島原爆攝影集

 (Boston Orange 綜合編譯) 在廣島於196586日被原子彈爆炸摧毀的20年後,波士頓美術博物館宣佈收購了川田喜久治 (Kawada Kikuji)所出版地標性攝影集「地圖 (Chizu/The Map) 」的87幅攝影作品,底片,以及一本活頁夾,內含川田喜久治的聯絡單,個人筆記,「地圖」這本書的第一版。

波士頓美術博物館Ann Graham館長Matthew Teitebaum表示,該館非常高興川田喜久治選擇了波士頓美術館作為他這和社會議題相關,當下時代相關鉅著的主要藏所。有了這些非凡的日本藝術及攝影收藏,波士頓美術博物館在講述日本攝影師的故事上,將佔有獨特地位。他為該館跨部門努力導致這開創性收藏,感到驕傲。

川田喜久治被認為是當代最著名的日本攝影家。他也是1959年在東京成立的著名且具影響力的「VIVO攝影收藏」的創辦人之一。

            川田喜久治第一次到訪廣島是在1958年,接著的幾年,他又去了好幾次,拍下一系列照片敘述了廣島原子彈爆炸的景象及其後果。

            「地圖」中的照片顯示的不只是原子爆殘餘物蹤跡,也展現了持續著的心理影響。這一系列圖片讓人看見已成為戰爭對人類傷害的國際象徵的那些旋轉、蹂躪在(廣島縣產業振興館) 原子圓頂殘骸上的痕跡,一面皺褶,滿是汙泥的日本棋,棄置的美國可口可樂罐,幸運牌香菸包。

            藉由隱喻,川田喜久治的照片提出的問題不只是日本在第二次世界大戰及之後的身分及角色,還包括了美國佔領日本所造成無孔不入的文化破壞。這些圖像在語氣和效果上都令人毛骨悚然,讓看的人思考核子戰爭的代價。

MFA Boston Acquires Groundbreaking “Chizu” / “The Map” Photographs by Kawada Kikuji

BOSTON (August 4, 2022)—On August 6, 1965, exactly 20 years after the destruction of Hiroshima, Kawada Kikuji (born 1933) published his landmark photobook Chizu / The Map, a searing humanitarian statement about the profound effects of the nuclear bombings in Japan. Today, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced the important acquisition of the book’s 87 photographic images as well as their negatives, Kawada’s binders containing contact sheets and personal notes, and a rare first-edition copy of the photobook itself.

“We are pleased that Kawada Kikuji has chosen the MFA as the primary home for this monumental work, which so directly relates to the social issues that are relevant to our current times,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Director. “With extraordinary collections of both Japanese art and photography, the MFA is in a unique position to tell the story of Japanese photographers, and I am proud of the cross-departmental efforts that led to this groundbreaking acquisition.”

Kawada is considered to be one of the most notable Japanese photographers of our time. He was one of the founders of the renowned and influential VIVO photography collective, established in Tokyo in 1959. Kawada first visited Hiroshima in 1958 and returned to the devastated city repeatedly over the next several years to create the series of photographs about the complex narrative of the atomic bombing and its aftermath. The photographs in Chizu / The Map explore not only the residual physical traces, but also the persistence of psychological effects. Among the images in the series are views of the swirled and ravaged stains on the skeletal remains of the Atomic Dome (the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall), which became an international symbol of the war’s toll on humanity; a crumpled, mud-stained Japanese flag; and discarded American Coca-Cola bottles and Lucky Strike cigarette packages. Through a mastery of metaphor, Kawada’s photographs raise questions not only about the identity and role of Japan through the course of World War II and afterward, but also the pervasive cultural disruption that was caused by the American Occupation of Japan. The images are eerily apocalyptic in tone and effect, asking viewers to contemplate the toll of nuclear war.

“My very early work, Chizu / The Map, had traveled down a winding path for nearly a half-century, when, in 2011, the Great Eastern Earthquake struck. A tsunami of an unprecedented magnitude marked a complex twist to a long catastrophe. In an ensuing exhibition at the MFA, entitled In the Wake, an incisive and intellectually luminous analysis of the incident was offered by curators Anne Nishimura Morse and Anne E. Havinga. In it, I detected a subtle voice that shepherded my Chizu / The Map into a new direction. I have ever since envisioned the MFA as the place where the images and history of Chizu / The Map may be retained and regenerated today and in the future,” said Kawada. “I am ever indebted and grateful to the MFA, its curators, and to everyone involved in this extraordinary endeavor.”

A key aspect of Japanese photography has long been the preeminence of the photography book format, commonly known as the “photobook.” In the 1960s, the photobook was the dominant format for Japanese photographers to introduce their work—with few galleries and collectors of unique photographic works in Japan, it offered artists the opportunity to show their images in large numbers and to circulate them widely.

In the making of the photobook Chizu / The Map, Kawada collaborated with the pioneering graphic designer Sugiura Kohei (born 1932), whose exquisite multilayered sequencing of the images forces the viewer to contemplate the bombing through stages, dwelling first on the atomic explosion and then on its long legacy. The cover of the box announces the goals of the volume not only with the title, but also with a line: “We are arrived in an age where we drift without courage, ambitions, deeds, nor even beautiful memories. Ask! Where is our map today, our vision, our radiant order?”

On the cover itself, Kawada’s individual verbal responses to the bombing appear in English and Japanese: keloidrocketenergymachinesecretEnola Gay. The main text of the book was written by the Nobel Prize-winning author Oe Kenzaburo (born 1935). Inside, printed on a separate sheet, is a bilingual prose poem explaining the publication’s title. The first stanza reads: 

…I saw a map close to my wounded eyes.
while it was nothing but a little piece of ground
stained with heavy oil, it really appeared
to me like a map of the world
full of violence in which I was to live thenceforth.

As a photobook, and as a collaboration among a photographer, writer and designer, Chizu / The Map has been cited by scholars as one of the most extraordinary and evocative of all time.

The newly acquired works join four others by Kawada already in the MFA’s collection, including a pair of folding screens made in 2017 that incorporated several of the Chizu / The Map images—showcasing the photographer’s ongoing practice of reinterpreting his earlier work. Photographs by Kawada were also featured in the MFA’s 2015 exhibition In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11.

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