Mangaland: A Tokyo Retrospective
Sous Les Etoiles Gallery
560 Broadway #603
New York, NY 10012
December 12 – January 31
Since visiting the city of Tokyo in spring of 1993 at a friend’s urging, James Whitlow Delano has become one of the most informed photographic eyes on Japanese culture. Opening December 12 at NYC’s Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, Mangaland: A Tokyo Retrospective will revisit Delano’s esteemed career, with a particular focus on his photographs of Japan—whether capturing intimate commuter moments or the devastation after the Fukushima meltdown—presenting a complex picture of a society at once jaded yet naive, resilient yet vulnerable.
The artist’s long-term project, Mangaland, is in many ways emblematic of Delano’s work. The black-and-white photo series, presented in the artist’s signature style through use of vignette and partial defocus, finds its subject in the quiet, questioning moments of passage within what Delano describes as the city’s “volcanic brilliance.” He elaborates: “The crowded sidewalks are the loneliest places on the planet. Yet one is rarely physically alone… Eyes meet ever so briefly and never meet again. The powerful timorous moment is gone forever, leaving one shaken and wanting more when there is no more to be had. It is a chemical rush and unsustainable in every way.”
Also presented are select images from Delano’s series Black Tsunami, recently published by FotoEvidence in the new photo “Black Tsunami: Japan 2011,” depicting the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima meltdown. Together, the two series present not only the artistic merits of the photographer’s work, but also its journalistic imperative.
Mangaland: A Tokyo Retrospective opens December 12.