reflets de lumière

Dr Ikkaku Ochi

Posted in Photography, Print by B on June 29, 2010

Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection

In an inconspicuous wooden box that had long gone unopened, Akimitsu Naruyama discovered 365 photographs of people with congenital and pathological deformations. After looking at just a few pictures, the Japanese art dealer and collector knew that he had discovered an extraordinary collection of photographs.

A doctor and photography enthusiast, Ikkaku Ochi practiced his profession in Okayama, a prefecture of Shikoku, one of Japan’s southern islands. He had his patients photographed during the last decade of the 19th century, producing images that are strikingly distinct from contemporary medical photographs, which serve as mere educational material and rarely as sensitive portraits of the diseased. Ochi’s patients were recorded with dignity and respect, though the exposed, diseased parts of their bodies are explicitly documented and not for the squeamish.

Individual photographs reveal the physical manifestations of syphilis in its final stages, elephantiasis of the testes or breasts, and other medical conditions – conditions that today are almost completely suppressed by medication or vaccination. Cruel and melancholic, these photographs seen today possess an undeniable elegance and uncomfortable beauty, qualities that Akimitsu Naruyama recognized immediately when he opened that forgotten wooden box.

Ochi, Ikkaku, Anna Von Senger, Sumio Ishida, and Akimitsu Naruyama. Dr. Ikkaku Ochi Collection. Zurich: Scalo, 2004. Print.

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Dr Ikkaku Ochi

Anna Von Senger

Sumio Ishida

Akimitsu Naruyama

Scalo Verlag AG

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Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Posted in Film, Print by B on June 19, 2010

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

“Ozu’s method, like all poetic methods, is oblique. He does not confront emotion, he surprises it. Precisely, he restricts his vision in order to see more; he limits his world in order to transcend these limitations. His cinema is formal and the formality is that of poetry, the creation of an ordered context that destroys habit and familiarity, returning to each word, to each image, its original freshness and urgency.”

Richie, Donald. Ozu / Donald Richie. Berkeley: University of California, 1974. Print.

Tokyo Monogatari. Dir. Yasujirō Ozu. By Kogo Noda and Yuharu Atsuta. Perf. Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, and Setsuko Hara. Ciné Vidéo Film, 1990.

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Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari

Donald Richie

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Bill Cunningham New York

Posted in Fashion, Film, Photography by B on June 13, 2010

Bill Cunningham New York, Richard Press


Bill Cunningham, photographed by Craig Arend

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Richard Press’ documentary of Bill Cunningham describes a man who has devoted his life to fashion; not simply to the photography of clothing, but as a anthropological historian, examining the relationship between people and their clothes.

At 81, he is still full of vitality and to this day retains a genuine, youthful curiosity for the way people dress themselves, cycling up and down the streets of New York, rain, hail or sunshine, watching and waiting for the city and its people to reveal themselves. As well as a tireless photographer, he is also his own layout man, spending endless hours piecing together precise photographic montages for his two columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours”.

For a man so well known in the world of fashion (and recognisable in his signature blue worker jacket) he is surprisingly ascetic. He lives and eats very frugally, refusing to be wined and dined by the movers and shakers he photographs. He also resided for decades in in Carnegie Hall Studios on 57th St. in a tiny apartment crammed to the ceiling with a lifetime’s worth of files and file cabinets, permitting himself only a spartan single bed in one corner of a work area in which to sleep.

Yet what is most poignant in Press’ documentary is Cunningham’s clear passion for garments and how people wear them. He dismisses the typical media hunger for celebrity and simply focuses upon the clothes themselves; the fabric, the cut, the color, the line. And more importantly he makes it clear he is not an arbiter of fashion. “It isn’t what I think, it’s what I see,” he says. “I let the street speak to me. You’ve got to stay on the street and let the street tell you what it is.”

Bill Cunningham New York. Dir. Richard Press. 2010. Film.

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Bill Cunningham

Richard Press