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BLACK AND WHITE
Wonderful black and white photography
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BREATH | Fine art photographer: Tomohide Ikeya

BREATH | Fine art photographer: Tomohide Ikeya | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"BREATH

I only became aware of the existence of life and death after connecting deeply to the world of water. This happened long before I started photography: by chance, I was invited to go diving, and when I saw that underwater world it captured me at once. The various phenomena and life forms which exist only in the water and the beautiful play of water and light brought me a strong sense of elation and excitement. 

 

In that world, it is difficult to walk as you would on the ground, and weather conditions can sometimes prevent you from entering it at all. Training and careful preparation are necessary. 

 

Above all, though, there is a limit to the number of breaths you can take. Among the many restrictions that exist in this world, this work focuses on “BREATH,” the most essential factor. Breathing is indispensable to us; it repeats continually during our life, and we consider death to be the point at which breathing stops. Usually, breath is invisible, and I think it never registers in our consciousness.

 

By separating ourselves from this phenomenon, which is so close to our own lives, we can consider its essence and value. 

 

This occurs in the water. When we are covered in water—a kind of death—the fear inside of us comes to the surface. Beyond this, the condition of not being able to breathe reveals our attachment to life. I capture this entirely unpredictable scene of struggle.

 

 

I superimpose this highly restrictive scene onto human “life.” People encounter all kinds of troubles during their lives. Even if someone knocks down a barrier preventing them from doing something with their own hands, this will not change the fundamental essence of our own limitations. It is necessary to live together with such difficulty.

 

Perhaps the essence of life, granted to everyone, is to live while struggling against death. Math or science can’t change this. Life is not just about visible beauty, but also about true strength, which we have from birth."- Tomohide Ikeya

 
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Overwork to suicide | Photojournalist: Shiho Fukada 深田 志穂

Overwork to suicide | Photojournalist: Shiho Fukada 深田 志穂 | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

The word "karoshi" came into common use around 1990, when Japanese workers began working longer hours in response to competition from overseas and the recession at the time. Despite increased awareness of the dangers of overwork, de-regulation and increased global competition means that Japanese workers are working harder than ever.


About 20 years ago, heart attacks or strokes were a symbol of ‘karoshi’ in Japan. Today, workers are committing suicide. Of the more than 30,000 suicides recorded 2009, 10,000 were believed to be related to work, according to data from the national police agency. Suicide triggered by overwork is particularly prevalent among white color workers, also known as “salarymen” in Japan. Salarymen devote long work hours and loyalty to companies in exchange for a life-time of employment and benefits.

 

With the recession of the 1990s and the lifting of a ban on the use of cheap temporary laborers, salarymen increasingly work longer hours because of a shortage of manpower and the fear of losing jobs.

Photo report's insight:

Shiho Fukada 深田 志穂 is a Japanese photojournalist currently working out of Beijing, China. Her clientele consists of The New York Times, MSNBC, Le Monde, the Chicago Tribune and the New York magazine, among others. She won the Grand Prize in Editor and Publisher Magazine’s Ninth Annual Photos of the Year contest in 2008. Fukada also won an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship in 2010 to research and photograph Japan's disposable workers.

Fukada majored in English literature and first worked in fashion advertising as an account executive. She borrowed a 35 mm SLR camera and started making photos.
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Benedyct Antifer's curator insight, March 26, 2013 12:39 PM

Travail impressionnant sur une société qui aliène de plus en plus la seule richesse dont elle dispose : les gens qui la compose...

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Maiko & Geiko | Photographer: Arif Iqball

Maiko & Geiko | Photographer: Arif Iqball | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Outside Japan there is often a misunderstanding about the role of the Geisha and that misunderstanding comes from different literary and movie interpretations/fictionalization by non-Japanese at different points in history. The difficulty also comes from the inability to recognize/accept that female entertainers can exist in cultures without engaging in any form of sexual entertainment.

 

The historical city of Kyoto, Japan is the true center of this floating world and home to five Kagai (literally flower towns, but specifically, performance districts) where you can see Geishas today. The oldest Kagai dates back to the fifteenth century and the tradition of the Geisha continues in Kyoto in the true manner and spirit as it has historically, where the women take pride in being “women of the mind” versus “women of the body”. By all local/Japanese definitions, these women are living art as well as the pinnacle of Japanese eloquence, good manners, style and elegance and are highly respected in Japanese society as artists. Some of their teachers have been labeled as “Living National Treasures” by the Japanese Government. The “Gei” of the Geisha itself means Art and “sha” means a person. Historically both men and women have been labeled Geisha although that word is seldom used and Geiko and Maiko (Apprentice Geiko) are the more appropriate forms of address.

 

There has been very little work done to photograph the artistic side of the Geiko and Maiko and my work is an effort to see them as living art and to be able to portray them in both formal and informal settings. Behind the painted face is really a teenager/young woman working very hard through song, dance, music, and witty conversation to make the customers of the tea houses escape from their world of stress to a world of art/humour/relaxation and laughter.

Most of this work was done in Medium Format to enable the viewer to eventually see and feel the larger photograph itself as art and I hope that this broader work can shed a new light to the understanding of the Maiko and Geiko and bring respect to them as artists from the non-Japanese viewer.

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URBANSCAPE/ ARCHITECTURE | Fine Art photographer: Dr. Akira TAKAUE

URBANSCAPE/ ARCHITECTURE | Fine Art photographer: Dr. Akira TAKAUE | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"Fortunately experiencing precious opportunities to visit various places around the world for business trip, in which actively would like to pursuit taking impressive worldwide scenery and modern architectures filled with emotional colors with delicate contrast and vibrant composition. My goal is rooted in both the logic of structural mechanics and material engineering as well as the finer artistic elements that make a building and its photograph successful. Especially being interested in conceptual architectural photography insistent on analytical composition and delicate contrast of structural materials."-

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