- Kimono, 2015, Copyright Max Pinckers, Courtesy IBASHO
- © Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos, Courtesy IBASHO
- Dance Dance Revolution, 2015, Copyright Max Pinckers, Courtesy IBASHO
- JAPAN. Tokyo. Man looking at flower arrangement, 1951, © Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos, Courtesy IBASHO
- City View #2, 2015, Copyright Max Pinckers, Courtesy IBASHO
In the Antwerp show “Tea Ceremony and Flower Arrangement”, running from 05 May 2018 through 10 June 2018, Max Pinckers juxtaposes his work about Japan with photos by Magnum photographer Werner Bischof.
The image of Japan, saturated by clichés of an impenetrable and technologically advanced island nation with very defined cultural subjects – such as bonsai, sumo, kimono, sushi, fugu fish, Yakuza, salarymen, video games and cosplay – has long been a welcome subject for photographers.
Upon Max Pinckers’ arrival in Japan in 2015, none of these preconceived elements seemed to be culturally predominant. This conflicting experience resulted in him deliberately searching for and constructing these cultural stereotypes, creating staged scenes influenced mostly by existing images created by foreigners.
The collaboration with Werner Bischof (1916-54) began coincidentally when Pinckers was still associated with Magnum Photos (2015-17). For an exhibition at the Magnum Photos Print Room in London, Pinckers randomly placed his work on top of other Magnum Photographers’ prints stored in the archival drawers in the exhibition space, creating spontaneous and unexpected combinations to occur between his work and the Magnum archive.
Pinckers decided to take this a step further by exploring Bischof’s archive to create an installation bringing both European representations of Japan together: one dating from the post-war 1950’s US occupation, and the other from today’s contemporary Japan.
This installation was exhibited at Photo London 2017 and can now be admired at the IBASHO gallery.
The vernissage takes place on Saturday 5 May from 4-6pm.