Mao Ishikawa’s Great Ryukyu Photo Scroll parts 1-4 exhibition opens with new pieces in Naha

Mao Ishikawa’s Great Ryukyu Photo Scroll parts 1-4 exhibition opens with new pieces in Naha

Mao Ishikawa explains her photographs on September 5 at Naha Civic Gallery.

September 5, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo online edition


On September 5 Mao Ishikawa’s photograph exhibition, the Great Ryukyu Photo Scroll parts 1-4, opened at Naha Civic Gallery in Kumoji, Naha City.

The same day Ishikawa conducted a gallery talk during which she gave some exposition about her photographs.

She mentioned that currently there is slander on the internet against the base opposition movement in Okinawa, including the complaint that many people involved in the movement are outsiders.

However, she continued, these people are taking time out of their daily lives to bring attention to these concerns.

She spoke about her motivation for creating the work, saying she thinks Okinawans especially must earnestly act to make these issues apparent.

Ishikawa, who harbors anger toward the government for pushing construction of the new facility in Henoko forward, began photographing for her Great Ryukyu Photo Scroll in 2013.

The exhibition is designed as a series of photographs set in historic scenery in Okinawa, with friends and acquaintances acting as models.

Mao Ishikawa and her audience on September 5 at Naha Civic Gallery

This year is the fourth of this exhibition, and 23 new pieces have been added. What differs from last year is that in many of her products really captured and represented the thoughts and feelings of people going about their daily lives.

She mentioned that all those photographed were ordinary people, not unusual in any way.

Right next to a photograph of a young woman protesting the Henoko base in front of a Camp Schwab gate, she displayed a photograph depicting the daily scene of a housewife doing housework with some children.

Ishikawa said that she did not only want to photograph people protesting by the gates, but also the families at home supporting these efforts.

There was also a photograph of a family gathered around their table eating New Year’s cuisine, encircled by men dressed like riot policemen.

Through this photograph Ishikawa is expressing how: “No matter how much violence they use, they will not snatch away our smiles or our love.”

While photographing for part 4 of her collection, Ishikawa discovered she had cancer, but continued her work despite the illness.

Now that she has made it through her medical procedures favorably, she is considering making a part 5.

This exhibition ends on September 10, and is currently open for viewing between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., except that it is only open until 4:00 p.m. on the final day.

Admission is free. Ishikawa plans to be at the exhibition hall each day.



(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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