Photographing the Absence
Mitsuhiro Kamimura

Price: 4,290 JPY
First Edition will be out on September 30, 2021

Spectrogram, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 1995

Mitsuhiro Kamimura

1948 Born in Taito, Tokyo
1952 Relocated to Musashino, Tokyo (current residence)
1963 Enrolled in Electronics Course, Tokyo Metropolitan Koganei Technical High School 
1966 Enrolled in Photography Course, Nihon University College of Art
1969 Left the course during term, and started taking on assignments of commercial photography.

【Solo Exhibitions】
1995 “SPECTROGRAMS” (Konica Plaza Shinjuku, Tokyo) *Received the Special Prize at Konica “New Photographer Appearance” with this exhibition.
1996 “Wall” (Shinjuku Nikon Salon, Tokyo) *Released the self-published monograph Wall.
1998 “ZOO” (Ginza Nikon Salon, Tokyo) *Received “The 23rd Ina Nobuo Award” with this exhibition.
2002 “Street” (Shinjuku Nikon Salon, Tokyo)
2013 “Zoo—International Edition” (Epson Imaging Gallery Epsite, Tokyo)
2017 “Beyond infinity” (Musashino City Kichijoji Art Museum, Tokyo)

Spectrogram, Izumi, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-SHI, Aichi, 1995

Born in Tokyo in 1948, Mitsuhiro Kamimura entered the Photography Course at Nihon University College of Art in 1966, resigned in 1969, and thereafter worked as a freelance photographer in the field of commercial photography. In commercial work, he says, "I took pictures of anything that was asked of me," but he also took time out from his work to create his own personal works. His subject was "architecture.”

This book, which contains a total of 101 plates, is divided into three main parts.

In the first part of the book, 57 monochrome photographs from four series produced from the late 1980s to the 2000s have been re-edited into a chapter called "Scenes of Absence.” In "Spectrograms," he photographed the way sunlight reflected off buildings clothed the city; in "Wall," the walls that appeared in vacant lots where private stores and houses had evacuated due to the land speculation of the bubble economy; in "Town," snapshots of a disappearing shopping street; and in "Passers-by," the shadows left behind by people passing through the city. The designer of this book, Kenta Shibano, wanted to express the sensitivity of Kamimura's legs as he walked around the city and the impulse to photograph the subjects when he met them.

Spectrogram, Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 1988

Wall, Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 1993

In the middle of the book, nine photographs from Kamimura's school days are inserted as "Etude 1968.” Kamimura's gaze is critical, yet still retains a certain naivete. The editor of this book, Tamami Iinuma, was interested in the symptoms of citizens in Kamimura's photographs of the “absence," and requested to include in this book the snapshots taken around 1968, before the "absence" began to appear in Kamimura's eyes.

Etude 1968

The last section of the book will include 35 color photographs. In Kamimura's masterpiece "Zoo" (winner of the 23rd Ina Nobuo Award), he visited zoos in cities around the world and photographed the rearing facilities when the animals were not in sight. While zoos are theaters for humans, they are also environments for animals to live in*. Through the camera, Kamimura looked at the relationship between the viewer and the seen, the distortion of the spatial context, and depicted the zoo as a stage set. *cf. Berger, John. Why Look at Animals? For Gilles Aillaud (1977). In About Looking (1980). ​​​​​​​
“Beyond Infinity," of which only eight are shown in this book, is an ambitious work that is still being photographed today. 

At the end of this book will be included a critique by art historian, Toshiharu Ito, titled "Photographing the Absence." 
Zoo, Aviary (Rotterdam Zoo, Neitherland), 1998

Zoo, Desert Warthog (Fort Worth Zoo, TX, USA), 2001

Photographing the Absence
Mitsuhiro Kamimura

Price: 4,290 JPY
First Edition will be out on September 30, 2021

Photographs: Mitsuhiro Kamimura
Text: Toshiharu Ito

Design: Kenta Shibano
Translation: Kana Kawanishi

Edit: Tamami Iinuma

101 photographs, JP/EN
H260 x W244mm, 120p.
4C-offset printing, hard-cover

Publisher: House of Architecture
ISBN 978-4-9911475-2-4
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