The exhibition, produced by Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, has been curated by Juan Vicente Aliaga (Universitat Politècnica de València) and has been made possible thanks to the exceptional loans of the Shomei Tomatsu Legacy Collection, as well as the assignment of other pieces by the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, The National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo), the Per Amor al'Art Collection (Valencia) and Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film (Tokyo).
The work of Shomei Tomatsu (1930-2012) covers more than six decades of Japanese history . Tomatsu was 20 years old when he started photographing. The technique was not alien: his two brothers practiced and even had improvised a dark room in a closet. When a teacher later criticized his first photograph, surreal tone, and invited him to take the path of realism, Tomatsu reoriented his gaze to reality. There he would always maintain it, but in an extraordinarily singular way, accentuating and forcing the expressive and communicative capacities of the photographic image, exploring its symbolic potential until creating an aesthetic that, consciously distanced from photojournalism, founds in a certain sense a new form of documentary.
The exhibition traces this trajectory through 180 photographs organized in eleven thematic sections that reflect the diverse interests that attracted your attention . In that selection of topics and in the visual treatment of them, never literal or direct, their willingness to compromise is clear: the destruction caused by the war, the presence of military bases and the Americanization of customs, the ravages caused by the nature, the unstoppable progress of urbanization, student protests, the survival of roots and traditions, the beauty of nature or the exaltation of everyday objects, among others.