This morning I helped my friend Jean-Pierre Antonio hang photos for his exhibit, “Japonisme today,” which runs March 7-25 at Sawa Restaurant and Gallery near Granville Island, Vancouver (1538 W. 2nd Ave).
Jean-Pierre has lived in Japan for close to twenty years (he was a great help with research for my novel, Manga Touch). Taken together, his photos create a kaleidoscope of colours and images ranging from the blurred action of summer revelers in Maruyama Park, Kyoto to the larger-than-life performances of television personalities; from the serene and mysterious faces of old statues to the lively, self-conscious poses of university students. The photos are bright with life and movement, depicting a Japan that still has one foot in the “old Japan” that has always intrigued the Western imagination, while the other foot leaps ahead (and sometimes side-ways) into an ever evolving, reinventing present.
(Some of my favourite photos of Jean-Pierre’s are not featured in the exhibit, but are included on notecards available for sale at the show. The food at the restaurant is worth a stop as well!)