Synopses & Reviews
From Japan is Boris Mikhailov's photographic statement from and on Japan. Best known for images of his native Ukraine, Mikhailov is concerned with ignored social realities and depicts his subjects with tragicomic compassion. By turning his attention to Japan, Mikhailov has joined other contemporary colour photographers such as Nan Goldin and Juergen Teller who have been fascinated by the country. Mikhailov's Japan displays sexual desire as an often repressed but underlying social factor.
From Japan is exactly that, Boris Mikhailov's photographic statement from and on Japan. Best known for images of his native Ukraine, Mikhailov is concerned with ignored social realities and depicts people with tragicomic compassion.
Boris Mikhailov's Japan presents photos taken by the groundbreaking Ukrainian photographer in Tokyo during the winter of 2006-2007. -I want to know what is the real Japan and what is the difference between Japan and me, - Mikhailov stated as he embarked on his first long stay there. This selection of nearly 30 color photographs made with various techniques and formats reflects Mikhailov's critical yet respectful observations of Tokyo life, while also confronting viewers' preconceived notions about the Japanese people. Mikhailov's spontaneous street scenes feature marginal figures: The old and the poor, the homeless lined up at a soup kitchen, people who have fearfully been wearing face masks since the 1995 Sarin gas attack. An ironic image of Mikhailov, his fist raised in defiance, echoes the gesture of writer and political activist Mishima Yukio, who committed Seppuku (ritual suicide) in 1970. The mix reveals Mikhailov to be an unbiased and astute social observer.
About the Author
Boris Mikhailov, born in 1938 in Kharkov, Ukraine lives and works in the Ukraine and in Berlin. Case History documents Mikhailov's perception of social disintegration ensuing from the break-up of the Soviet Union - both in terms of social structures and the resulting human condition. Case History documents the social oppression, the devastating poverty, the harshness and helplessness of everyday life for the homeless.
His work is being shown throughout Europe and the United States, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Kunsthalle Zurich, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, and Hasselblad Center, Göteborg.