Hiroshi HAMAYA

Hiroshi Hamaya, “June 22, 1960” from the series “A Chronicle of Grief and Anger”, 1960, gelatin silver print, 15.9 x 24 cm © Keisuke Katano

Hiroshi Hamaya was born in 1915 in Tokyo (he passed in 1999). In 1933, he began his career as an aeronautical photographer for Practical Aeronautical Research Institute. That same year, he was hired by Oriental Photo Industry (currently Cyber Graphics Corp.). He quit in 1937 and established “Ginkobo” with his brother Masao Tanaka. In 1938, Hamaya helped Shuzo Takiguchi establish the “Avant-Garde Photography Association.” In 1939, he visited Takada City, Niigata Prefecture for a story for the magazine Graphic and met the folklorist Shinji Ichikawa and Keizo Shibusawa. Influenced by these encounters as well as Tetsuro Watsuji’s Climate and Culture: A Philosophical Study, Hamaya has captured, with penetrating perspective, the relations between people, their culture and environment. He sternly confronted the documentary aspect of photography and produced numerous valuable photographic records of his era. In 1941, Hamaya joined Ihei Kimura and Hiroshi Hara at Tohosha, but quit in 1943. The same year, he shot Japanese cultural figures as a part-time employee of Pacific News Photo Service. In 1960, he became a contributing photographer at Magnum. His solo exhibitions include “The Photographer Hiroshi Hamaya,” Kawasaki City Museum (Kanagawa, 1989); “Century of Photography: Hiroshi Hamaya, 1931-1990,” Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (1997). His photo books include Snow Country (Mainichi Shinbunsha 1956); Japan’s Back Coast (Shinchosha, 1957); A Chronicle of Grief and Anger (Kawade Shobo Shinsya, 1960). He is the recipient of the 2nd Mainichi Photograhy Award (for “Japan’s Back Coast”, 1956); Japan Artist’s Award (for Aspects of Nature, Aspects of Life: A Collection of Photographs by Hiroshi Hamaya, 1981); the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (1987).

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