Hiroshi Watanabe’s Photos Capture Japanese Theater Traditions

Japanese theater

Japanese theater

Japanese theater Hiroshi Watanabe

Hiroshi Watanabe is a photographer interested in places and people.  Capturing traditions and locales that hold a personal interest for him, Watanabe was drawn to various elements of Japanese culture.  Particularly interested in forms of theatricality, Watanabe sought to capture individual performers within the traditions of Sarumawashi, Noh, Ena Bunraku and Kabuki.  Stylized human actors, monkeys, masks and puppets become the subject matter of Watanabe’s striking and powerful photographs.  Though the traditions come from different regions and periods of history, they are tied together by Watanabe’s eye.  Of his work he says:

“I strive for both calculation and discovery in my work, keeping my mind open for surprises. At times, I envision images I’d like to capture, but when I actually look through the viewfinder, my mind goes blank and I photograph whatever catches my eye. Photographs I return with are usually different from my original concepts. My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.”

Hiroshi Watanabe

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