#005 PHOTO Playground

Through collaboration with IMA which enriches life through photography, this exhibition of three-dimensional artistic photography presents not only something to see but also new experiences that expand the possibilities of photography.

Photographs that are more intimately familiar to our lives. "#005 Photo Playground" is a program that expands the possibilities of photography while drawing attention to the possibilities and degree of freedom they have to offer.

Duration : 2019.2.1 - 3.3 *Certain works are only on display until February 27 (Wed)

* This program has finished.

Descriptions of Exhibitions

GL / Ground Level

Damien Poulain / 「Catgrapher」(2018)

It is said that worldwide mobile phone subscriptions have penetrated virtually 100% of the global population. It means that almost everyone has a camera on their phone, taking photos every day. In addition, social media has made it extremely easy to share photos and have them seen by a potentially global audience. In short, everybody in this world is a photographer. Damien Poulain's Catgrapher is a massive cat sculpture with a camera function. It allows us to have fun having our selfies taken by the cat, while offering a wry take on the ubiquity and pervasiveness of photographs in today's culture: anyone, even a cat, can take pictures without having to do anything. It would be interesting to explore what it means to take a photograph while having your photo taken by a cat.

B1 / Basement 1

Kensuke Koike / 「Ikebana」(2018)

Splicing and rearranging the subjects depicted in vintage flea market finds, Venice-based visual artist Kensuke Koike created strange photo-sculptures of faces. In a series titled Ikebana, old portraits are enlarged dozens of times, transformed into something else. These cut out images do resemble wired flower arrangements in the way they spring up from the ground. Koike uses his collection of found photos to make miraculous reinventions of images that invite us to question the way we see the world and the inherent value of things. Infused with surrealistic imagery, an innate sense of humor and a dose of dark wit, his work has attracted a loyal international following on Instagram.

B2 / Basement 2

Risaku Suzuki / 「Water Mirror」(2016)

Risaku Suzuki has been exploring the relationship between the camera and perception, while offering a unique take on nature such as snow, cherry blossoms, fire and mountains. One of the characteristics of photography is that you can get very different results from photographing the same object by changing the point of focus. Inspired by this, Suzuki created a series of images of the surface of the water with a large format film camera. He says, "When you stand by the lake and look at the water's surface, you never mistake real trees for their reflections on the water. But when looked through the camera lens, it gets really difficult to distinguish one from the other. I was interested in the fact that there are three separate worlds side by side: the surface of the water, what's underneath the water and reflections on the water's surface, but they appear equally in photographs." His work urges us to ponder what the camera and our eyes see, and how our experiences control our perceptions.

Kensaku Seki / 「GOKAB」(2018)

The Kingdom of Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas is a small country well known for pioneering the concept of Gross National Happiness and preserving its unique culture. Albeit its fairy-tale scenery, it has a wide range of social issues like rising youth unemployment. This may come as a surprise, but recent years have seen a burgeoning hip hop culture among the dissatisfied Bhutanese youth. In society that is both politically conservative and a Buddhist, they are pursuing their dreams of better future through dancing and rapping despite being frowned upon with distain. Kensaku Seki stayed in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, and shot an-eighteen-year-old man, Kunzan and his friends, who, in turn, painted the graffiti on the images. Representing their fears and hopes, the photographs are displayed to look like pictures and words left upon the walls of public restrooms.

Naoki Honjo / 「small planet /Yoyogi park」(2007)

Naoki Honjo makes incredible images that look like surreal miniature landscapes. There are in fact tilt-shift photos taken from high above, of locals relaxing in gloriously green Yoyogi park on a weekend. The extremely narrow field of focus creates the illusion of looking down at a miniature model. Honjo claims this is closer to how we perceive the world around us. Usually, landscape photography is done with a small aperture so that everything is in focus, but that is different from what we actually see. His illusory vision makes us feel as if we are seeing our own lives from a bird's-eye view.

Fijio Kito /「Playground equipment」(2015)

An octopus, a huge pair of shoes, a panda bear and a sphinx… Strange and bizarre objects are lurking in the dark. They are old playground equipment that you find in the play areas of parks and public housing estates all over Japan. Fujio Kito took an unusual approach to photographing playground equipment that is supposed to only provide a fun play experience for children during the day. He shot them in the dark of the night, lit from all directions to create composite images. He says, "When you photograph them at night, they turn into surreal and magical objects." Kito's images attempt to encapsulate the sheer unfamiliarity and otherworldliness of how they look at night as well as the Japanese sense of humor and eccentric sensibility - otherwise, how on earth would anybody put such irrelevant objects in parks?

Kenta Cobayashi / 「REM」(2018)

Kenta Cobayashi stands out as a millennial photographer. As someone born in the post-digital era, Kobayashi has been drawing on computer since he was a child, and his first experience of photography was taking a selfie in one of those purikura machines. He takes snapshots of everyday moments and uses photo editing software to draw on or manipulate his images. For this exhibition, he created a VR installation that takes the viewer through a virtual tour where they can watch still pictures that appear one after another on the surface of the water created with computer graphics. Embrace the immersive virtual experience and witness the expanding potential of photography in this new era of technology as you marvel at the sensation of floating through a virtual cityscape.

*This VR art work is for over age 12.

B3 / Basement 3 *Until February 27 (Wed)

Taisuke Koyama / 「RAINBOW VARIATION」(2009-2019)

Taisuke Koyama photographed a close-up of an advertisement featuring rainbow colors that was plastered all over town. Then he edited and transformed his "photographs of a rainbow as an artifact" by using natural phenomena and digital devices, repeatedly creating a growing variety of new versions. Through these brightly colored images, Koyama investigates the undecidability of photography and the possibility of image making. He has been trying to find new possibilities for photography through using various effects of natural phenomena and digital devices and these include: physically altering images by using rain and snow; changing optical properties of images with rippled patterns; creating intentional multiple exposures by intentionally misusing a super high-resolution digital camera; and expanding the smallest addressable unit of color to generate images.

Satoshi Fujiwara / 「Untitled」(2019)

As you go down the stairs to the parking lot, on the landing there is an object depicting horses and police cars, suddenly looming large. By editing and giving a shape to images, Satoshi Fujiwara incorporates different time elements into his work: different times of the day; historical contexts; technological advancement accelerated by the evolution of transportation; the time he spent on creating the work; and the amount of time viewers spend with it. Fujiwara's work is situated on the border between images and objects. The images of horses were captured in different contexts and backgrounds, and they take on new contexts and meanings when combined with the images of cars. The resulting output clearly suggests incidents and accidents, but the images have nothing to do with these. One of the most intriguing aspects of Fujiwara's work is how he changes context.

About IMA

IMA is a multimedia info publication project that began as quarterly magazine "IMA," which had the concept of being a magazine to sit back and enjoy photography with. IMA creates photograph-rich lifestyles under the theme of "Living with Photography." The magazine uses various approaches to present the charm of artistic photography from all around the world, from masters of the photography industry to young photographers. Publication of an English version also began in 2016, while the associated website promotes the works of globally-active Japanese photographers. IMA is a media platform that offers a variety of content to enrich lives through artistic photography, and has been involved with putting on gallery exhibitions, managing artists, directing at art festivals, and more.

Website: https://imaonline.jp/en/


February 1 (Fri), 2019 - March 3 (Sun)

*Certain works are only on display until February 27 (Wed)

* This program has finished.


10:00 - 20:00

Venue GL / Ground Level, B1 / Basement 1 - B3 / Basement 3[Park Map]



IMA Project / amana.inc

  • Exhibition may not be available during crowded times or when performing system maintenance. We appreciate your understanding.
  • Details above are subject to change without prior warning.
Damien Poulain / 「Catgrapher」
Kensuke Koike / 「Ikebana」
Kensaku Seki / 「GOKAB」
Naoki Honjo/ 「small planet / Yoyogi park」
Satoshi Fujiwara / 「Untitled」