We discovered the Antwerp-based IBASHO gallery as one of the exhibitors of last year’s Unseen Photo Fair. During the long weekend in Amsterdam, amongst other work, it showed the incredible ‘Tokyo Parrots‘ series by the very talented Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani, which we were very happy to see in real life for the first time and formed one of the undisputed highlights of the whole festival for us. IBASHO specializes in contemporary photography and next to Mizutani has some very talented photographers in its roster. Despite the other talent Yoshinori Mizutani remains our favorite and on the 7th of April the gallery presents the second solo exhibition of the young Japanese artist. After the successful pop-up show in 2015 at Graanmarkt 13, the work of Mizutani will return in Antwerp with a solo exhibition in the gallery. The exhibition combines images from his earlier popular series ‘Tokyo Parrots’ and ‘Yusurika’ with two new series, ‘Sakura’ and ‘Kawau’. In ‘Sakura’, inspiration of the name of this particular show, Mizutani shows us an unusual and mesmerizing view on one of Japans icons, the cherry blossom. The abstract and graphic black and white photography of the ‘Kawau ‘- Japanese for the cormorant bird – is Mizutani’s second exploration of birds in an urban environment, and forms the perfect grainy black and white counterpart of the pastel colored ‘Tokyo Parrots’. We can’t wait for this incredible showcase of Mizutani’s talent.
Facing a sakura tree, my eyes shift from one petal to another, from one flower to another until the whole picture is grasped.
In the new series resulting from his fascination for and named after the sakura tree, Mizutani attempts to visualize the movement of his eyes as he observes, and materializes the visual experience of meditating and wandering under the blooming tree. As a result, the abstract images show that photography captures not only a specific moment, but also the passing of time. Forming an interesting new aesthetic direction in his work.
The other debuting series ‘Kawau’ composes the second part of the Japanese photographer’s trilogy on birds. Similar to the parakeets captured in ‘Tokyo Parrots’, the kawau bird has increased dramatically in number over the past decade and now their over population is causing troubles to the human life as well as local ecosystem in several parts of the country. Despite their reported negative impact and reputation, it is breathtaking to watch a big flock of birds, and through his photography focusses on revealing their existence, which makes our everyday urban landscape somehow surreal.’
On the occasion on the exhibition, Dutch-born artist and landscape designer Ronald van der Hilst will create a special cherry blossom installation, that will be on view in the gallery.
The ‘Sakura’ exhibtion will run until the 8th of May at the IBASHO gallery, located at the Tolstraat 67 in Antwerp. Opened Friday until Saturday from 14:00 – 18:00 or by appointment.
For more information see here