IBASHO is delighted to announce a retrospective solo exhibition of Asako Narahashi. Narahashi is a female photographer from Tokyo, whose work mainly focuses on the relationship between land and water. A large part of her body of work is shot from the water offering a different and unexpected viewpoint on the land. Whilst looking at Narahashi’s photographs they bring us the amazement of a reversed vision and the sense of disorientation.
Works from her series ‘half awake and half asleep in the water’, ‘Ever After’, ‘Biwako’ and ‘Towards the Mountain’ will be shown. This body of work, with which Narahashi has created a new perspective on the genre of landscape photography, led to Narahashi's 'international recognition as an influential Japanese artist. Since beginning the project in 2001, Narahashi has photographed over fifty locations worldwide with a Nikon 35mm waterproof film camera. Narahashi floats chest deep in the water while facing back towards the shore, her camera held half-submerged in the water. By watching the waves without using the viewfinder, the artist times her pictures according to the swells of the ocean tide. Her work highlights how photography can challenge our stereotypical way of looking.
IBASHO will also show a selection of Narahashi’s prints from her series Dawn in Spring (from 1989) and NU-E, the starting point of her career in the 1990s. The nu-e in Japan is a traditional, mysterious creature. It’s a fictitious animal with a monkey’s head, the body of a racoon, the paws of a tiger and the tail of a snake. Nobody has ever seen it because it’s a figment of the imagination. This is the reason why the word “nu-e-like” in Japanese is used to talk about someone or something unidentifiable. The spirit of nu-e visible in the landscape of Japan can only be captured through photography, and years after the series began, one can feel strongly the wonder and eeriness of the unique world expressed in Narahashi’s early works. In these black-and-white works one can trace the influence of the renowned Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama whose photography group Photo Session Narahashi joined as an art student in the mid-1980s.