Ala Champ
 
00:00/

NICHOLAS DALEY COLLABORATES WITH BRITISH MILLINER CHRISTYS’

British-Barbadian Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings Models The Jazz-Inspired Baker Boy Hat Collaboration

YEN LONDON

Modern and Authentic Japanese Fine Dining In Central London With Hand-Made Soba At It's Core

ISSEY MIYAKE’S PLEATS IN A NEW CONTEXT

Two Design Greats Join For A Technical Pleats Lifestyle Collection

TEAM LAB BORDERLESS

The Digital Art Collective's Innovative and Interactive Art Experience Now Open In Tokyo

NOHGA HOTEL UENO

In The Far East End Of Tokyo, Find Modernity & Craftsmanship

GOOD HOTEL LONDON

A Short Ride Away From London City Airport, A Socially-Conscious Hotel With A Big Vision

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE AND STUDIO

American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s First Home and Studio Is Nothing Short Of A Masterpiece

FREDERIK BILLE BRAHE’S APOLLO BAR

Run By Copenhagen's Most Exciting Chef - An Entrepreneurial Polymath - You'll Find Apollo Bar Tucked Within The Walls Of The Iconic Kunsthal Charlottenborg

The Robey

A Historic Art Deco Building Transformed Into One Of The Most Beautiful Design And Lifestyle Hotels In Chicago

SHIHARA LAB

Precise Minimalism With This Geometry-Based Fine Jewellery Line

ENDGAMƎ

The London-Based Producer Is Bringing Together A Global Community Of Experimentalists

Wild Life Archive’s Dance Music Culture 70’s To Present

The Underground Publisher Presents His Rare & Unseen Collection In Tokyo

KENGO KUMA DESIGNS THE NEW V&A DUNDEE

Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma Has Completed His First Project In The United Kingdom, Designing The First Design Museum In Scotland

AMOS REX

With Director Kai Kartio At The Directorial Helm, The New Amos Rex Art Museum By Architects JKMM Is Set To Highlight Helsinki’s Championing Of The Arts

SAHSYA KANETANAKA

Hiroshi Sugimoto's Mathematics-Driven Artistic Concept For An Architectural Structure - A Restaurant In The Heart Of Tokyo

TRUNK HOTEL

In Tokyo, Find The Most Conscious Boutique Hotel And Local Lounge

土門拳 Ken Domon

The Undisputed Master of Japanese Realist Photography

September, 2017

The supreme master of Japanese realist photography, Ken Domon‘s images capture the spectacular originality of realism; emotive in every sense. Domon’s life’s work extends to 70,000 images taken between 1920 to 1980, with the photographer capturing his country of birth in an unflinchingly honest portrayal. Most importantly, Domon’s lens captured moments that revealed truths in the turbulent Showa era.

Just released, Skira have published a pivotal new book featuring 150 works of Domon’s works, dating from the 1920s to the 1970s. Domon’s work remains a reference for photographers until this day, but his work is bewilderingly not well known outside of Japan.

The Ken Domon Museum of Photography is the first Japanese museum dedicated solely to photographs, and quite possibly the first photography museum in the world built for an individual. Built in Sakata, the hometown of Domon, the museum was completed in 1983 by Yoshio Taniguchi. The son of architect Yoshirō Taniguchi, Yoshio studied at Keio University and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, later briefly working for architect Walter Gropius.

This project was Taniguchi’s first museum design work, and he later went on to also design the Museum of Modern Art in New York. For the Ken Domon Museum of Photography, Taniguchi utilised the elements of water and emphasised the external experience of the specifically-designed interiors space. Taniguchi framed the outside surrounding views, and through his design, brings them inside the internal space. For the Ken Domon Museum of Photography, Taniguchi had a large lake constructed outside of the museum building, an integral part incorporated into the entire design, accentuating the importance of water and utilising it’s characteristics and traits. Taniguchi explains, “I can give three different reasons why I use water. One is that it provides a base to the architecture. Two, you can control the movement of people to change their view toward different scenery. Three, the colour of the water always changes, depending upon the weather, season and time of day. That reflects on the architecture. So water makes my simple architecture more interesting”.

Also to note, Domon’s artist friends contributed to the museum with their various talents. Isamu Noguchi’s Mr. Domon sculpture graces the outdoor courtyard space in the museum, while Hiroshi Teshigahara (head of the Sogetsu School of ikebana, flower arrangement) contributed to the garden landscaping.

Domon’s photography captures more than moments in time, his documentary-style photographs show a reality of multiple emotions, presenting an honest portrayal of society and humanity.

After World War 2, Domon documented the aftermath by focusing on everyday people and their everyday lives. This post-war period between 1950-1970 Domon’s ‘Hiroshima’ and ‘The Children of Chikukō’ series are some of the world’s most renowned photographs, with the photo series made in Buddhist temples ‘A Pilgrimage through Old Temples’ and ‘Muroji Temple’ also among Domon’s most iconic. The ‘Bunraku Puppets’ photo series celebrate Japan and it’s traditions, capturing details of craftsmanship through the black and white grains.

Unflinching and focused, Domon’s photography is undeniably honest in it’s execution and storytelling, providing a direct lens into the history and soul of Japan.

The Ken Domon Museum of Photography
2 Chome-13 Iimoriyama, Sakata,
Yamagata Prefecture 998-0055, Japan

Ken Domon | Hitsuji (Sheep), from the Twelve Guardians (jūnishinshō) of the Murōji Temple, Nara, 1941-1943
Ken Domon | Shaka Buddha, Nara, 1943
Ken Domon | Children Spinning Umbrellas, from the series Children, Ogōchimura, c. 1937
Ken Domon | Orphaned Sisters, Rumie and Sayuri, from the series Children of Chikuhō, 1959
Ken Domon | Bathing in the River in front of the Hiroshima Dome, Hiroshima series, 1957
Ken Domon | Red Cross exercises, Azabu, Tokyo, 1938
Ken Domon | Ladies Strolling, Sendai, 1950
Ken Domon | Commemorative photo of the Marine Corp graduation ceremony, Ibaragi, 1944
September, 2017