Don’t Miss: Naoya Hatakeyama’s Natural Stories at SFMOMA


Banners showing off Cindy Sherman’s latest show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have been waving throughout the city for the past few months and the exhibit itself has been receiving much well-deserved press. While you’re checking out Sherman’s portraits, be sure to stick around and head a floor down for leading Japanese photographer Naoya Hatakeyama’s show Natural Stories. Hatakeyama’s exhibit gathers work spanning his entire career featuring austere and beautiful large-scale color pictures that capture extraordinary occurances in nature. Whether photographing factories, quarries, mines, or his tsunami-swept hometown in northeastern Japan, Hatakeyama is a keen observer of landscapes in transition, witnessing scenes of transformation with calm precision.

In one stunning series in the show, Blast (2005), Hatakeyama used a high-speed motor-driven camera to document explosions in an open-cast limestone mine, framing the instant impact in the images. The most recent series in the exhibition, Rikuzentakata (2011), records the aftermath of the 2011 Tohuku earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan. For Hatakeyama, the disaster struck close to home with the earthquake destroying his hometown of Rikuzentakata and leaving his childhood home in ruins. Although these are some of the most personal photographs that the artist has ever exhibited, they display the same clarity and refinement that mark the rest of his work.

Naoya Hatakeyama’s Natural Stories at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Artthrough November 4; 151 Third Street, San Francisco

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