Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

by Stefan Chiarantano, Sep 23, 2006 | Destinations: Japan / Tokyo

If you get a chance to visit Tokyo, why not take in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. You won't be disappointed.

Recently, I took in a show "things as they are", a World Press Photo retrospective commemorating its 50 anniversary. It was highly provocative and suggestive. Where else can one see under one roof the award winning works of many of the world's top photojournalists? Actually, the photo exhibit shouldn't be in a museum but displayed in public places for all to see. And to remind the world that evil, ignorance, hatred continues to undermine world peace and harmony.

I still haven't digested all those images of dead children, violence, grief, poverty, and misery. They still resonate in my psyche. After spending close to 3 hours taking in the exhibit, I had to leave to get some air.

Man's inhumanity to man is a way to view and understand history. The sub-text of the photos reveals one group oppressing the other; one group victimizing another. Yes, the world has changed but the root causes of misery, poverty, and violence hasn't. The show is a testament to that and much more.

My congratulations to Christian Caujolle who structured the show. The exhibition is arranged into decennia ---1955 - 1964, 1965 - 1974, 1975 - 1984, 1985 - 1994, and 1994 - 2005. The decennia highlight the significant events of the periods and permits analyzation.

The show depicts the works of Japanese photo-journalists who have won the award. Highlighted is the works of Mr. Yasushi Nagao, Mr. Shomei Tomatsu and Mr. Hiroshi Kubota. Featured in the exhibition are the works of Sebastiao Salgades, Alon Reiniger, Donna Ferrato, Anders Petersen, Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Avedon, and countless others.

If the show comes to your part of the world, do see it. You won't be disappointed.

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