Takashi Kawashima creates works to suggest ‘absent’ stories, which recount catastrophes caused by overwhelming natural powers, tracing the memory of the land via the imaginary narrative woven by the artist’s own experiences and questions. Kawashima’s works guide the viewers to imagine a story through a striking sequence of images and the clever use of space. The dynamic installations let the audience experience these stories in a more empirical way by dramatically connecting and severing visual spatial references.
In the artist’s first UK solo exhibition Absence and Ambience, one of the two rooms of the gallery was dedicated to the project Unfinished Topography/Collection, a collection of fragmented stories of catastrophes which happened after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. In the other room, Kawashima examined the uncertainty surrounding us in our daily lives through the motif of ‘shadow’. This research was inspired by the unique natural environment of the Netherlands, in which Kawashima was living and creating his works for a year.
For this event, the artist was joined in conversation by Dr Marco Bohr, Postgraduate Programme Director for the Arts at Loughborough University, to discuss his practice and the works on show.
A video of the talk can be found here.
About the contributors
Takashi Kawashima (b.1985, Miyagi, Japan) currently lives and works in Amsterdam and Tokyo as a photographer. He received his MA from Tokyo Polytechnic University, Dept of. Media Arts in 2011. His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions in Japan and abroad, and his solo and duo shows include : Post Body / Nature Takashi Kawashima × Taisuke Koyama, LhGWR, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2017); Volcanoes and The Sun, G/P gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2016); Unfinished Topography / Collection, G/P gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2016). His work was also included in group shows On The Flow III, G/P + g3 gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2016), Jimei x Arles: East West Encounters International Photo Festival, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Xiamen, China (2015). Kawashima’s photographs were longlisted for the Paul Huf Award, Foam Museum Amsterdam, 2016, and received a jury recommendation at the 18th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2015. Kawashima has been awarded a grant from the Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) in 2017.
Dr Marco Bohr
Dr Marco Bohr is the Postgraduate Programme Director for the Arts at Loughborough University. His PhD investigated the work of a new generation of Japanese photographers emerging during the economic, social and cultural shifts of the 1990s. For his on-going research on the photographic representation of post-tsunami landscapes, Dr Bohr was awarded a Fellowship from the Japan Foundation in 2014 as well as a JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Ritsumeikan University in 2017. His co-edited book ‘The Evolution of the Image: Political Action and the Digital Self’ is due to be published by Routledge in 2018. Dr Bohr’s blog can be found at visualcultureblog.com.