Takuma Nakahira : Circulation: Date, Place, Events (Osiris, 2012)

In 1971 photographer Takuma Nakahira participated in the Seventh Paris Biennale for emerging artists from around the world. In his experimental project Circulation: Date, Place, Events Nakahira challenged himself to photograph his surroundings and in the same day exhibit the results for a duration of approximately one week.

Takuma Nakahira’s photographs from “Circulation: Date, Place, Events,” at Yossi Milo. © Takuma Nakahira, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Takuma Nakahira, a pioneer of modern Japanese photography and a revered writer and critic, was born 1938 in Tokyo. He was encouraged by photographer Shomei Tomatsu to start taking photographs.

He launched the seminal Japanese photography magazine Provoke as “provocative food for thought” together with Koji Taki, Yutaka Takanashi and Takahiko Okada in 1968. His characteristic technique that came to be referred to as are, bure, boke (“rough, blurred and out of focus”) made a major impact on the realm of photography at the time.

In 1969, Nakahira’s photographic work received the Newcomer Award from the Japanese Photography Critics’ Association. A year later he published his first book of photography, entitled For A Language to Come (1970). In his essay collection Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary in 1973, he dismissed his own poetic style up to that point, and burned most of the negative and prints of his previous works.

In 1977, he suffered from memory loss and aphasia, but returned to photographing as energetically as ever one year later. Entitled “Nakahira Takuma: Degree Zero – Yokohama”, in 2003 a large-scale retrospective at the Yokohama Museum of Art displayed over 800 of his photographic works.

Nakahira died in 2015 at the age of 77.

Takuma Nakahira at home in Yokohama, c. 2004. Photo: Takashi Homma.
© Takuma Nakahira, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Circulation: Date, Place, Events consisted of the daily process of capturing fragments of material reality with the camera and returning these back to reality as photographic prints made on the spot in the form of a photographic site-specific installation.
As a photobook, this volume seeks to newly engage Takuma Nakahira’s critical perspective as produced in Paris, 1971, rather than simply recreating the original installation.
In 1973, seeking to make break with the past and reject his own photography up to that point, Nakahira would burn up most of his negatives and prints.
Fortunately, or perhaps intentionally un-burned, the negatives corresponding to Circulation: Date, Place, Events have been preserved. There are approximately nine hundred and eighty cut 35 mm negatives (B&W) as well as forty-eight remaining prints confirmed to be part of the photographs taken and exhibited by Takuma Nakahira for his submission at the Seventh Paris Biennale.

Publisher’s Info

© Takuma Nakahira, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York
Publisher: Osiris