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Shinro snaps London, Meisa snaps girls - click opera
February 2010
 
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Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 09:31 am
Shinro snaps London, Meisa snaps girls

Shinro Ohtake has already popped up in this blog; Hisae and I are hoping to visit his Naoshima Bathhouse -- a fanciful sento featuring a stuffed elephant -- in January. But Shinro has another major achievement, far from the Seto Inland Sea. In a series of massive picture books filled with photographs, drawings and scrap memorabilia (but particularly UK 77) Ohtake has documented seventies London better, to my mind, than any British artist or photographer.



It's not that Ohtake -- aged 22 in 1977, he'd just graduated from Musashino Art University -- avoids the punk rock cliches that now pass for cultural history of the late 70s in the UK. His photos show us that Bozz Scaggs. Elkie Brooks, Elton John and The Enid featured on UK posters in 1977 rather more than The Damned and The Sex Pistols did, but he has plenty of shots of punk rockers, and clippings from the snarky music press and listings magazines. It's rather that Ohtake shows the entire context; views out of the window, tickets from gigs, confectionery wrappers, books of matches with adverts on them.



What comes as a shock is how much of the UK in 1977 was stuck in the 1960s; there are silly little Hillman Imp cars, and ridiculous child-molester hairstyles in the barber windows, trickledown domestications from the wilder shores of 1960s subculture. It's all pretty grim and muddy, but it does show you where punk's disgust came from. And it's telling that it takes a Japanese photographer -- a sort of impartial Martian in this weird and depressing landscape -- to document the UK properly. Sitting in gm ten gallery flipping through Ohtake's back pages, I was completely transported back to the era, with exactly the right combination of repulsion and nostalgia, shudder and swoon.



There was a very different experience waiting for us at the studio of a very different photographer, Meisa Fujishiro, yesterday. Fujishiro is a girly photographer known for his fast, loose, appetising gravure shots of girls, and books like Milky Hips (collections of women showing their bottoms in various locations). Just before vacating his Aoyama studio, Fujishiro has plastered the walls with snapshots and furnished the room with comfy chairs, tables laden with gravure books of pretty girls, and Michael Jackson's greatest hits pumping out of the stereo.



The overall feeling I got from Meisa's photographs was of how much he likes girls, how much girls like being girls, and how I've wasted my life being a singer rather than being Meisa Fujishiro. I mean, seriously, to do this and get paid for it too? How much better could life get?


13CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)

Unrelated, but awesome: the view of Mount Fuji from our Meguro apartment this morning:



It's 100 kilometers away!

This is the first day in the ten we've been here that it's been clear and cloudless enough to see (though Fuji is so huge it generates its own clouds).


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)

Absolutely stunning photo, Sir Currie! It looks so clean and crisp.

- Mazie.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)

That is a great picture. Almost on par with the amazing Mt. Fuji shots Rocky Tanaka takes every once in a while (as seen in Tokyo Noise).

His goal in life is to create 99 perfect shots of Mt. Fuji (he calls these pictures - apparently the only ones he keeps - "Enthusiastic Fuji - They show a Fuji noone else has seen". In 2002 (when the film was made) he was at 33. Wonderful man. Wonderful mountain.

http://www.rocky-fuji.com/ is his site, I think.


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pay_option07
pay_option07
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
so huge it's awesome

In the winter the full moon rises on the peak of Fuji.
If you get it, take a few snaps.


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count_vronsky
count_vronsky
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
yes!!


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count_vronsky
count_vronsky
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
Re: yes!!



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(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)

"the UK in 1977 was stuck in the 1960s"

Especially in rural areas, the 70s still looked a lot like the 60s, the 80s still had a lot of 70s, etc. I've always thought that "historical accuracy", in films for example, is far from it, and has the effect of over-financing the truth - as if everyone had all the latest gear and gadgets.

Future films set in 2018 will show people in Barnstaple using The Cloud, while in reality 88% of them will still have hard drives (how quaint).


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stanleylieber
stanleylieber
Stanley Lieber
Thu, Dec. 24th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)

+


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Naoshima

When you go to Naoshima, dont miss the art house built by Tadao Ando & James Turrell! I've been to Naoshima three times but only went to their "Minamidera" project on the last visit & it is now etched in my psyche.... But dont google it - the less you know about it the better your experience will be...


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 10:22 am (UTC)
Meisa Fujishiro

Hello Momus, is this gallery open to the public? If so, I was wondering about times and location.
Regards,
Ben


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realrealgone
realrealgone
realrealgone
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)

thank you for bringing us new ways of seeing girls.

the ways, it seems, are endless...


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 27th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)

Scud mags have been around for ages, you must live in the country


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Dec. 27th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)

You've both hurt London's feelings now; wasn't this entry also about ways of seeing her?


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