BASEL.- BachmannEckenstein | JapaneseArt
will be back in New York for a short visit during the 2014 fall edition of Asia Week. They are exhibiting again at Gallery Schlesinger on 73rd Street, just off Madison Avenue.
This September there will be a dual focus with a variety of letters by Japanese literati, and a group of Japanese photographers. For the first time they will feature works by Iwase Yoshiyuki (1904-2001) in New York.
Iwase Yoshiyuki was born in Onjuku (Chiba Prefecture) into a family of sake brewers. After graduating from Meiji Universitys Faculty of Law in 1924, he entered the family business. Since the towns main livelihood came from the sea, he gravitated there, and soon found a passion for the simple, and even primitive beauty of the Ama divers - girls and women who harvested seaweed, turban shells and abalone from beneath the coastal waters. Fascinated by the vital beauty of these Ama divers, he shot their portraits while running his family business.
By the late 1960s, when the Ama divers had all but disappeared, his range of subjects broadened to include local fisherman and other scenes from his native village and coast. He became a pioneer of the Japanese modernist nude and documented traditional culture in post-war Japan. His photography remains the most comprehensive documents of the Ama divers to date.
A solo exhibition of his work was held at Tokyos Ginza Matsuya in 1931, followed by six solo shows in Chiba city through his lifetime. After winning the second prize at Lorelei International Competition, his work became highly esteemed. Iwase won the Prime Ministers Cabinet Prize (Japan Photographic Exhibition) in 1957. His retrospective exhibition 50 Years of Portraits of Ama Divers was held in Tokyo in 1983, with a book on the same theme published the same year.