What was happening in Japan back then? Japan became one of the strongest economic power in 1980s, but the economic growth, so called post-war economic miracle, ended in 1991 when asset price bubble busted. Did it matter to the photography scene in Japan? It looks it didn’t but new types of photographers came up in this period. Let’s see.
1990年度は今道子さんの「EAT Recent Works」。女性写真家の受賞は、石内都さん、武田花さんに続いて3人目。
The winner of 1990, Michiko Kon. The third female winner, following Miyako Ishiuchi in 1978 and Hana Takeda in 1989. Kon utilize food to make surreal objects. The photographer certainly has strong obsession to make works and we have not seen this type of artist in this award so far, aren’t we? I picked up her photobook Eat before, check it out.
The winner of 1991, Toshio Shibata. In this series, titled “Quintessence of Japan”, the photographer found abstract beauty in rural areas where nature and artificial concrete structures coexistence. Shibata was not born photographer. Studied oil painting in Tokyo University of the Arts, Shibata started to take photograph after he graduated.
It could be stated that this series of work implies critical view of environmental disruption but he definitely enjoys the visual effect in mixture of artificial structures and nature. You can tell this clearly if you look his recent color works.
There are two winners of 1992, Mitsugu Onish and Norio Kobayashi.
The winner of 1993, Yasuhisa Toyohara.
Yasumasa Morimura was in the final nominees, whose work is to put himself into famous paintings (similar style with Cindy Sherman. See his works here) . Eventually street snap won against contemporary art this year, maybe because Yutaka Takanashi and Shigeichi Nagano, two masters of street snap photographer were included in the five nominators?
The winner of 1994, Mitsuhiko Imamori. Imamori has been published numerous photobooks mainly about insects and the surrounding nature.
To be continued.