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Tokyo Photographic Art Museum presents 'Reversible Destiny: Australian and Japanese Contemporary Photography'
Ishuichi Miyako, hiroshima #13, donor: Yazu, I., 2007, chromogenic print, 74 x 108cm. Courtesy of The Third Gallery Aya.

TOKYO.- Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is presenting Reversible Destiny: Australian and Japanese contemporary photography, as part of the Tokyo Tokyo Festival for the 2020 Olympics Cultural Olympiad.

What does it mean to make photography now, in a time of global upheaval, human fragility and uncertain futures?

Reversible Destiny is a group exhibition of Australian and Japanese photo-based artists who contemplate our destiny while reflecting on our shared past.

How is contemporary photography entangled with the past, halted in the present and imagining the future? Eight artists from Australia and Japan explore the uncanny ability of photography to collapse time and delve into the experience of the individual within a social context. In doing so, yesterday, today and tomorrow merge across an array of photographic renditions from epic landscapes to intimate interiors.

Australia and Japan have different cultural histories but today, when events far beyond our expectation are occurring every day, there are more and more experiences and issues that we can share across borders and time zones. Based on the theme of “reversible destiny,” the exhibition will encourage audiences to understand the diversity of culture in both countries while enabling Australian artists to bring a global perspective and awareness to the international arena.

The double bind or paradox of “reversible destiny” alludes to cycles of the past and future; life and death; remembering and forgetting; hope and regret. Together, these mutual contradictions shape the tempo of our times as frail and tremulous by presenting an array of artworks from 2-dimensional photography, installation and moving image. By shifting registers, these artists take us to newly imagined places with visions of the future that have been formulated in the past. They negotiate time and place, moving backwards and forwards between past and future, memory and the unknown.

Co-curated by Natalie King OAM, Enterprise Professor at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.

Artists: Maree Clarke, Rosemary Laing, Polixeni Papapetrou, Val Wens, Ishiuchi Miyako, Katayama Mari, Hatakeyama Naoya, Yokomizo Shizuka

International online symposium

The symposium will be uploaded from October. Please check the museum's YouTube channel.


The exhibition has been organised by the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), the Tokyo Shimbun in special collaboration with University of Melbourne.

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