Opening of the exhibition Shinzo and Roso Fukuhara, Photographs 1913-1941, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 1994. Picture D.R.

Exhibition overview

The Fondation Cartier presents an exhibition devoted to the Japanese photographers Shinzo and Roso Fukuhara, the pioneers of “art photography” in Japan. Sixty photographs from 1913 to 1941 are presented by the Foundation for the first time ever outside Japan.

Artists and contributors of the exhibition:
  • Roso Fukuhara,
  • Shinzo Fukuhara

The exhibition in detail

Composed between the two World Wars, the oeuvre of the Fukuhara brothers is little known in Europe; and yet it played a key role in the emergence of Japanese photography. The crossing gaze of the two brothers also bears moving witness to a country which opened up to Western modernity in the space of thirty years, under the effects of its encounter with Europe, spurred on by the shock of war. Shinzo photographs this movement, this transition from a strictly organized world to a world in turmoil (for the last works date from 1941). A traveler, a businessman, an aesthete, a theorist, he is the author of nostalgic, melancholy pictures. A world is disappearing. The premonition of war stirs behind the melancholic veil. This melancholy drives him to Hawaii, to seek landscapes outside history, outside time; but in Hawaii he records his most desperate images. Images foreboding war. Like his shot of trees, trees in ruins on a beach in ruins. At the same time his brother, Roso, the loner, has already crossed the line, seemingly without nostalgia, as though he had to break as quickly as possible with the past. Hence the fixed, frontal, static, objective images. Shinzo and Roso Fukuhara: two gazes on the same history.