Mao Ishiakwa Publishes Photobook in the United States

Mao Ishiakwa Publishes Photobook in the United States

Mao Ishikawa working on part 4 of the Dai-Ryukyu Shashin Emaki. March 2017

March 23, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Noriko Oshiro

Mao Ishikawa, a photographer who focuses on taking pictures of Okinawa and the people who live there, will be attending four in New York City from March 28 through April 2, including a publication signing event for her new photography book, a photography exhibit for an international art dealer association.

One of the events in New York is a photo exhibition showing the works of three Okinawan photographers: along with Ishikawa, the late Kenshichi Heshiki, and Ryuichi Ishikawa. Another event is the “Living Okinawa” symposium featuring Ishikawa, her aunt, Teiko Yonoha-Tursi, ex-head of the New York Okinawa Club, and Annmaria Shimabuku, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at New York University. Ishikawa will also be giving a talk on her own.

The photography book is titled, Red Flower, the Women of Okinawa, and is set to be published by Session Press this month. The book is a compilation of 80 photographs, including previously un-published pictures, taken from 1975-1977 in Koza and Kin, capturing women and American soldiers while Ishikawa was working in bars that serviced the American military. Miwa Suzuta from Session Press commented, “For some time I have thought that these fantastic photos are powerfully beautiful and vivid.” The company plans on issuing 600 copies of the book.

For the past four years, Ishikawa has been working on the, “Dai-Ryukyu Shashin Emaki,” which is a scroll of color photos printed on a roll of cloth. The project is expresses Ishikawa anger towards the history and current situation in Okinawa and is expressed with great satire, she is currently working on part four. This year, she was diagnosed with a quickly progressing stage 4 cancer. However, she continues to move full-speed ahead towards the “Ichi emaki-ten” in the fall. “I have mobilized the full force of my personal network built over 43 years of experience working as a photographer.” Her fierce view and persistent belief in Okinawa is expressed through her photography.

Red Flower can be purchased through the art photo book specialty distributor twelvebooks’ website, for 11,000 yen (plus tax).

(Translated by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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