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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows thru February 21, 2016 at The Getty Center

Photo cred: Ishiuchi Miyako via getty.edu
Another exhibit currently up at The Getty Center is a complete survey of photographer Ishiuchi Miyako's work called Postwar Shadows. The exhibit tracks her photographs of the town she grew up in Japan that had a visible imprint of the American occupation (complete with a US naval base) to an intimate exhibit on Scars to my favorite exhibit, Hiroshima, where she photographed the clothes people were wearing the day of the bomb.

The images are shot against a blinding white background and float around the room, tattered and torn, rotted and blood-spattered. What I love about Miyako's work is the space she leaves for the viewer's experience by limiting the text that accompanies her art. The photographs for Scars are shot close up, with nothing more than one word for the cause of the scar such as "Accident" or "Illness." By leaving this space, the viewer can both empathize and connect without sensationalizing the photo. In Hiroshima, there is no need for text or story. The story is in the clothes, a quiet pain and reverence paid to the people who experienced the horror of that day. Parking to The Getty is $15 before 4 pm and admission is free. For more information, check out getty.edu.

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