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TOP > TERRADA MAGAZINE > ART > Photographs by Okamoto Taro: For the sake of thought



Photographs by Okamoto Taro: For the sake of thought

The unknown Japan as found through perceptive eyes


As an artist, Taro Okamoto did more than just paint – he also observed. As a young man studying in Paris and trying to find his footing as a painter, he studied ethnology and sociology under Marcel Mauss and others. He also became interested in photography and received an introduction to the subject from Brassaï and Man Ray. He returned to Japan, and after the war he traveled the country taking photographs, which he presented to a magazine along with text noting the various customs he discovered. These photographs, taken half a century ago, captured people and areas that are now considered precious.

0420_02The works in this exhibition are photographs taken by Taro during his research and travels. They show children running up to the camera, toys, small wooden houses, festivals, city streets, burial accessories, and other images taken from his perceptive point of view. His secretary Toshiko, who often accompanied him on his travels, was said to have observed, “Even though we walked together, I did not see at all the world captured by Taro Okamoto’s eyes.” True to these words, Taro captured what he alone could see in his photographs.

Just as Taro’s paintings look fresh and new every time they are viewed, his photographs constantly offer new surprises. The Japan discovered by Taro’s perceptive eyes has a lot to teach us even today.

(Text: Naoko Aono)

Photographs by Okamoto Taro: For the sake of thought
Dates: April 28 (Sat) – July 1 (Sun)
Venue: Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki 7-1-5 Masukata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki
Times: 9:30 – 17:00 Closed Mondays and on May 1 (open April 30)
Admission: 800 yen (general)

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