Masahiro Kodaira “The Wholly Other”

Dates: Feb 7 – Mar 7, 2015
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film
Opening reception: Saturday, Feb 7, 18:00 – 20:00

Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film is pleased to present “The Wholly Other”, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of works by Masahiro Kodaira, from February 7 to March 7. The exhibition will feature approximately 14 works. The exhibition title is taken from the German theologian Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy (1917), in which the term is used to describe the “numinous” (a divine power that is simultaneously terrifying and fascinating).

Since discovering that a “meaningful coincidence” is at work in the relation between the self and the world, Kodaira has endeavored to make photographs, which serves as a medium for expressing, and sharing with others, the sense of coming into contact with this “meaningful coincidence”.

Shooting is intuitive. Even when I don’t understand why, I try to capture the fleeting sense, say, for example, a sharp stomach pain, which I receive from the photographic subject, before it disappears. Terribly delicate signals transmitted from the unconscious manifest themselves in various ways. While I have no set method, repeatedly shooting photographs allows me to immerse myself in previously unknown or long forgotten feelings.

– Masahiro Kodaira, March 23, 2013
(Excerpted from text written for solo exhibition “The Wholly Other” http://www.kodairam.com/#!text/c5is)

Kodaira’s uses the snapshot technique to eliminate preconceived and rational notions that result from working with set motifs or themes. His works are neither landscapes nor memoirs. They are responses to “fundamental mysteries and fears and deep desires that we feel as living beings, but cannot register consciously in everyday, social life.”

When I’m shooting continually while camping alone and speaking to no one or staring out the window of a room, I am sometimes suddenly struck by an irrational fear. I wonder what the hell this world is; I look at my hand and body and wonder what they are. It has nothing to do with “society,” but in being vulnerably exposed to this world, and not understanding my raison d’être, I feel a great sense of fear for the external world, as well as a sense of ecstasy.

– Masahiro Kodaira, March 23, 2013
(Excerpted from text written for solo exhibition “The Wholly Other” http://www.kodairam.com/#!text/c5is)

Looking consciously at photographs that capture sporadically existing elements means staging an encounter between the conscious and unconscious. It occasions the search for something more than coincidence. In preparing this two-part exhibition, which will be held simultaneously (see following page for details), Kodaira has organized his works, by categorizing the elements, which he responds intuitively to by photographing, into dark and light. In doing so, he has attempted to reconsider and reorganize “the wholly other” into these two categories. The current exhibition is thus a culmination of his career to date.

Born in 1972 in Tokyo, Masahiro Kodaira studied with Yutaka Takanashi and Akihide Tamura and pursued the possibilities of analog photography at Tokyo Zokei University’s Department of Design, where he majored in photography (he graduated in 1997). He was also a core member of the “Society for the Experimental Workshop of Photography,” which was established in 1996 to archive the work of Kiyoji Ohtsuji. As a member, Kodaira produced modern prints from Ohtsuji’s negatives and also organized exhibitions of Ohtsuji’s works. In 2011, he established the publishing label Symmetry. In the same year, his book Dr. Lorenz’s Butterfly was published. His works have been included in group exhibitions at the Tsukuba Museum of Art, Tokyo Art Museum, and Setagaya Art Museum among others. He has also had solo exhibitions periodically since 1996. His major solo exhibitions include “Dr. Lorenz’s Butterfly” (Sirius Aidem Photo Gallery, Tokyo, 2002), “tuzuki-no kawarini (Instead of Continuation)“ (Gekkoso, Tokyo, 2009), and “The Wholly Other” (Omotesando Garo, Tokyo, 2013).

A concurrent exhibition which focuses on the works categorized into light will be held at Plaza Gallery under the same title “The Wholly Other”.

Masahiro Kodaira “The Wholly Other”
Dates: Feb 7, 2015 – Mar 1, 2015  10:00 – 18:30  Closed on Wednesdays
Location: Plaza Gallery (1-24-1 Sengawacho, Chofu-shi, Tokyo)
Opening reception: Saturday, Feb 7, 13:00 – 15:00

In conjunction with these exhibitions, Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film will publish a catalogue.
Publication details:
Masahiro Kodaira “The Wholly Other”
Retail price: ¥3,000- (tax excl.), published by Taka Ishii Gallery P/F (2015)
Softcover, total 36 pages, 28 illustrations, H26.8 x W21 cm,  0.2kg
Text by Shino Kuraishi (English and Japanese)

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