Domon Ken exhibition in Rome

Domon-KenOne of Japan’s eminent photographers is now subject of an exhibition in Rome: Domon Ken (1909-1990). It is the first time that an exhibition is dedicated to his work outside of Japan. Domon Ken: Master of Japanese Realism is part of the 150 years of friendship celebrations between Japan and Italy and is held at the Ara Pacis Museum.

Domon Ken is one of the pioneers of modern and early post war Japanese photography, a master of (social) realism. Famous are his raw portraits of survivors of the atomic bomb in the so-called Hiroshima series (1958) and the images children of Chikuhō, a mining town in Kyūshū.
After a brief training in painting Domon started his career in photography in the 1930s. He worked for the journal Nippon from 1935-1939 and then was employed by the Japan Cultural Society for which he photographed traditional customs and temples until 1943. Due to several strokes in 1960 which paralyzed the right part of his body, he could no longer hold a 35mm camera. He continued to photograph from his wheel chair, now with a big camera.

Circa 150 works from the 1920s until the 1970s are on display in Rome and can be seen until 18 September. An Italian language catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

For more information visit the museum website and the review of the exhibition in the Japan Times.

Rossella Menegazzo & Fujimori Takeshi, Domon Ken, Il maestro del realismo giapponese, Milan: Skira, 2016. ISBN 978-8857232904. 184 pages, 161 color illustrations, 13 b/w illustrations.