Mikiko Hara

Mikiko Hara - The Wind Cannot Be Named

IBASHO is proud to present a solo exhibition of Mikiko Hara (1967, Toyama Prefecture), a renowned Japanese street photographer. Hara doesn’t use the viewfinder of her camera. Instead she shoots from the chest, allowing the camera to catch unexpected moments in Hara’s personal surroundings.
Most of Hara’s photographs capture fleeting moments: figures, landscapes and material things that emerge and disappear before her as she navigates daily life.

“There is no set theme; I’m not trying to communicate a particular message. Instead I gamble on serendipity. I hope each snapshot will stir some fragment of memory within every viewer, arousing complex feelings and emotions that can’t be easily put into words.”

While having studied Japanese style painting and art history and theory, Hara happened to pick up photography when she inherited her father’s old camera. She subsequently studied at the Tokyo College of Photography. Influenced by the American master of street photography, Garry Winogrand, Hara built up her photographic experience by emerging herself into the streets, which felt demanding to her, both physically and mentally. She found it nearly impossible to capture everything perfectly in one frame due to the constant motion of life in the streets. After a friend gave her a German square-format camera from the 1930s, with a difficult to use viewfinder, she learned to take photographs without even looking in the viewfinder, which gave a totally new view on street photography. This has since been her ‘modus operandi’.

Hara’s works are timeless and create a personal bond between her subjects and the viewers, a feeling of familiarity. All her works are in a square-format and are chromogenic prints.

Although the works on display at IBASHO are from different series that Hara made, the selection of the works together are to be regarded as an entirely new body of work: ‘The Wind cannot be Named’.

Artists: Mikiko Hara