Mikiko Hara | Tokyo

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Mikiko Hara
Japan born 1967

Megacities, Level 3
NGV International
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‘I would like to leave it up to the people who see my work to decide what will be revealed. I didn’t shoot to trace a pre-prepared story. I don’t even know if it will be revealed through the photographs. There is no easy-to-understand story anywhere. The arc of the story will be drawn by each person who sees the photograph. I want it to be you, not me, who finds anything in a photograph that is only a fragment of obscurity and uncertainty, or between photographs. I feel that the appeal of photography lies in the possibility of capturing things that the photographer did not intend. I just happen to be there and press the shutter.’

Japanese photographer Mikiko Hara uses a 1930s German-made Ikonta camera and takes her photographs without using a viewfinder. She always has her camera with her as she walks the streets of Tokyo and photographs the figures of fleeting passersby, landscapes and ephemeral details that emerge and disappear before her eyes wherever she goes. In those places she has come upon by chance, she quietly releases the shutter. She gambles on the accumulation of chance that is the technique of the snapshot. Hara had her first solo exhibition, Is As It, in Tokyo in 1996, and since then, her works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in Japan and internationally.

Sound & music by Sugai Ken.

The NGV warmly thanks the Orloff Family Charitable Trust, and Barry Janes and Paul Cross for their support.