“Transmission” (Naoya Hatakeyama + Shuji Akagi)


Owned and run by Kota Sake, Studio 35 Minutes is an unassuming gallery located in Araiyakushimae that inherited the name of the old photo lab it replaced in a quiet part of Tokyo northwest of Shinjuku. Simple yet generous, previous shows have featured artists from both Japan and overseas. However, its real genius lies in how the gallery’s social gatherings have fostered a diverse community, showing work that’s more inclusive than exclusive. “Transmission,” the latest show curated by Dan Abbe, contributes to this atmosphere. Whilst younger artists have been the focus of past exhibitions, “Transmission” goes further, bringing together two well known artists; Iwate-born photographer Naoya Hatakeyama and Shuji Akagi, a former painter turned photographer now living in Fukushima City. Hatakeyama is one of Japan’s most sophisticated photographers, known for documenting the changing face of natural and urban landscapes in works such as Natural Stories (2012), Terrils (2011), Ciel Tombé(2008) and BLAST (1998). Akagi meanwhile has merited attention for his poignancy and immediacy, focusing on day-to-day images that he terms “historical.” Despite their disparity, both artists offer a personal take on documenting Fukushima while sharing an awareness for how their images are transmitted and received. The chance to see their work together in an part of Tokyo that rarely hosts anything remotely similar is a rare opportunity that should not be missed. (Stuart Munro)

“Transmission” at Studio 35 Minutes, Tokyo, runs through August 2