Contemporary Daguerreotypists Japan Committee and PGI will hold an exhibition with the theme of “Care – Daguerreotype Today: In an Age of Uncertainty”.
The word “care” can have many connotations.
In this age full of uncertainty due to the many natural disasters, conflicts, and a pandemic, we chose this as the exhibition theme to consider what photography has captured up to now and its limits.
One aim of this exhibition is to re-examine how photography as a medium can mediate between people when we think about the value of family, society, oneself, others, and those involved in various issues.
Along with works by Takashi Arai, Binh Danh, and Jerry Spabnoli, works by awarded artists as well as public submissions under the theme of “care” will be exhibited.
About the Exhibition
The Exhibition Care: In an Age of Uncertainty is an open-submission juried exhibition that considers anyone who practices daguerreotype process. At the dawn of photography in the nineteenth century, daguerreotype served as the means to secure memories of loved ones, as well as one’s own likeness, for generations to come. The modern ability to instantly share photos is an extension of the same determination that produced those old family albums and portraits. The ongoing crisis caused by the pandemic has served as a reminder of how precious—and fleeting—life truly is. Our wish is to recapture photography’s potential as a physical container of individuals’ memories, especially during these trying times. The theme of this exhibition, “Care,” is meant to be open-ended and freely interpreted. We hope this exhibition will inspire widely a sense of life and vitality in the face of current global struggles.
Please refer to our website for the application guidelines;
About Contemporary Daguerreotypes Japan and IO-2（Image Objects Exhibition vol. 2）
Contemporary Daguerreotypes (http://cdags.org) was an online collective of twenty-first-century daguerreotypists formed by Alan Bekhuis of New Zealand in 2008. In 2012, Bekhuis and the collective organized IO-1(Image Objects Exhibition vol.1) at the Penumbra Foundation, New York, featuring thirty-three daguerreotypists from sixteen countries. In 2020, with around eighty individuals from twenty countries as its members, the site ceased updating. It was a hub for discussing the medium and sharing technical information that provided an invaluable resource for those interested in the process. IO-2 aims to build upon the foundations laid by Bekhuis and reinvigorate the community with another outstanding international event.
Care – Daguerreotype Today: In an Age of Uncertainty
In 1839, the history of photography began together with daguerreotypes. It’s been some 180 years since then, and, together with the development of media, photography has made it possible to share a cropped “reality” with others, being used in all kinds of fields as a way of motivating people. However, at that time in the 19th century – especially when daguerreotypes were popular – photography was mainly seen as a “recording device” to capture one’s, or one’s family or loved ones, appearance for the future. It was an act that was given a special meaning.
Right after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the memory of volunteer groups cleaning family photos that were washed up on the shores and returning them to victims’ relatives is still fresh in our minds. This made it clear that photography’s value as a “recording device” for these once thought to be forgotten people is still invaluable in the 21st century.
This is an age where we live in uncertainty, an age of many natural disasters, conflicts, and a pandemic. Each of us must have started asking ourselves what is the meaning of life and death, and how we can lend a helping hand to others.
In these times of “Caring,” how will we be reflected in daguerreotypes, the mirror of memory and photography as a “an image object”.
Contemporary Daguerreotypes Japan Committee
Takashi Arai (Artist/Film Director)
Born in Kawasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture, in 1978. After discovering daguerreotypes were an early form of photography on his journey to discover the roots of the medium, he picked up the technique after trial and error. Arai has made it his original medium capturing his subject matter as “small monuments,” conveying a vivid impression that goes beyond space and time. He was awarded the Source-Cord Prize, UK, (now the Solas Prize) in 2014, as well as the 41st Kimura Ihei Award, the Japan Professional Photography Society New Photographer Award, and the Kanagawa Culture Future Award, in succession in 2016. Arai’s short film, “Oshira Kagami: The Mirror of the Oshira Deity” won the Top Short Film Prize at the 72nd Salerno International Film Festival, Italy. His works are in numerous museum collections such as the Smithsonian Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the Tokyo Photographic Museum, Musée Guimet, among others.
Born in Vietnam in 1977. Artist and assistant professor at San Jose State University (Photography Studies). Danh has gained attention in the American art scene for his works that depict the history of Vietnamese immigrants, especially the Vietnam War. Thereafter, he has made works using various photographic techniques such as chlorophyll prints and daguerreotypes. Recent projects include the landscape series of “battlefields” using alternative processes (solo exhibition photo techniques), a daguerreotype series on national parks in America, among others. Danh’s works belong to numerous collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, among others.
Born in London, raised in England and Australia. In 1980, he began working at the photography agency, Ogilvy & Mather Agency. Two years later, he moved to New York and started making experimental works with pin hole cameras. In 1985, he held an exhibition at Massimo Audiello Gallery. In 2000, he received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. Fuss has held exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), National Gallery of Victoria (Australia), among others.