An American-born photographer, James Whitlow Delano has been living in Asia, mostly in Japan, for over 20 years. He photographs the country with the lucid eyes of a foreigner, but with a profound knowledge of the country and its culture. He is like a family member that comes to town for a visit, familiar, but at the same time distant, thereby offering an original insight into the place.
His main work in Japan is collected in an ongoing series called Mangaland. Manga are a typical style of comic strip historically speci c to Japan, with recognizable features, but covering a variety of genres and themes. And like manga, Japanese culture can be seen as an animated cartoon with protagonists and adventures – a very peculiar style with underlying criptic messages.
James’ view on Japanese culture is profound and insightful. He goes beyond the surface, the super cial icons and stereotypes, showing us the heart and soul of a culture that is often shy and reserved. Japanese people are not loud, they do not express themselves or their emotions publicly. They prefer to let silence speak and to carry on smiling. Their deep respect for their surroundings and for others creates a distance which is often impenetrable. James manages to see through it and to manifest the contradictions and essence of Japanese culture through his unique images. His style makes them even more unique.
The other part of the work presented here is his documentation of the 2011 tsunami aftermath. The images in the series Black Tsunami are a journalistic documentary, and at the same time a moving testimony from the inside. Japan is James’ home and he dutifully registered the disastrous event and consequences without abandoning his unique style and whole-hearted respect for the region.
His images reveal the-day-after atmosphere in an eerie and cinematographic way. But we are not in a scary movie here. What we see is real and James was there to create a record of it. A record that also contributed to the collection of funds to aid the population at a time of disarray. But mostly an un nished record that aims to keep attention focused on a situation that, although not headline news anymore, like many “aftermaths”, still has its long-term effects and is still far from any solution or conclusion.
Japan by James Whitlow Delano
40 Prints (different dimensions)
2 “Blow Up” prints on Communication, border black
40 Black and white, printed on CansonPhotographique Satin paper, mounted on dibond and in oating frames Black and white, printed on Communication
See technical rider
See technical rider
holes on the back of the frames slider system for “Blow up”
Panel: intro, bio (text in appendix) and title, must be printed at the expense of the hosting organization
30mt minimum required linear space (whithout Blow Up)
5 boxes 80x69x60cm
1 box 129x46x109cm
1 box 250x150x8