Vol. 50 Kei Tanaka

I found an interesting article regarding to Japanese whether basically we are creative or not. I personally think that Japanese are one of the most creative people in the world. As author mentioned, some notable Japanese individuals are pretty well-known in particular realm for sure. However, I also understand why us being Japanese do not consider ourselves as creative. This author interestingly referred to four ideas of why Japanese do not think of themselves as creative. Aside from machine/software/silicon Valley ones, humility distorting the results, and the perspective of entrepreneurial culture for us is the convincing reasons for the result that Japanese embrace insecurity in creativity. Japan is considered to be in risk-averse society where virtue of individual behavior can be measured by one’s obedience to cooperate, simply put, not standing out. If someone tries to stir up an environment with argument or some sort, one might be in trouble or could be worse, get your ass whipped. The rise of entrepreneurial culture now has gained some recognition over these couple years with the innovations of Internet. However, One of Japanese aspect of being conservative (contrary to author’s standpoint I believe) let us not to be a pioneer of unknown realm to explore. His detailed article is here so please check it out.
I visited one of my talented friend’s exhibition couple days ago so I would like to talk about it today. I believe he surely is one of the most creative people that I have ever met.


Kei Tanaka (There is one actor who has exactly same name as his so you might not be able to surf the shit out of him on the internet sadly), a photographer, fellow soldier who happened to be same place when I was in the states. He stated this exhibition “The place” where he started taking photographs before this public bath that located in his hometown Maebashi, Gunma, closed down. The jubei-Yu, public bath that allowed him to retrieve some memories along with its more-than-half-a-decade history. He also stated that when he stands on the ground where Jubei-Yu had been, he could hear a vibrant chatting coming from the dressing room, capture the former times like a dream.


The entrance, It has been quite a while since we encounter each other so we started to chat what’s up each other. Reminiscing the old time when we both don’t know who we really are and still both of us are trying to figure out what to do with something in our hands.

Walls covered with pictures of collage-esque objects. I honestly could not see each one of them because there are over 300 of them that are attached to the wall. However, as I glance up with some of them, each pictures has its process of teardown, individuals who loved this place, used over times, walk their path along with it, I could imagine and see how many lives are connected with this place.




Couple scenery in Maebashi, never been there myself but it sort of gives me a inspiration of my adolescence age where I used to let myself play with my friends at place like this in the middle till sun goes down.


What’s interesting here is that he deliberately created these blurred photos. Usually point of focus should be right enough to visually cleared object up by bring the camera into focus. By missing the point with these pictures, he tried to convey the messages that he holds with his childhood memories. Seemingly people might ask there is a privacy issues going on with his art pieces, he did give a zero fucks about it. Rather he did this in order to project his vision of childhood when he sees people in the steamy bathroom so that he could not see any object or people with his eyes. I personally felt that blurred pictures indicate the fade of memories. Pictures are meant to hold one’s memories for the purpose of entity that it shows how much your turn your life of pages that you have read. However, he managed to used it in order to pictures the moment of fade where nothing is remained unless forced to do so.








Capture the moment. That’s what photo means and photographers are eager to do so in order to describe their thoughts and feeling with it. Some notable pictures can be measured with flash contact with objects. I thought that was the reason to be a photographer and this is how they live their life, I was wrong about it. Visually well-focused, beautiful pictures could be pleased to see but art pieces like his also gives me a thoughts of how ones like him see the world with his eyes.

If you would like to get to know more about him, please get ahold me here.






Picture’s Copyright (C) Kei Tanaka, 新宿御苑ギャラリー, All Rights Reserved.


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