End of Contax

On April 12, 2005, Kyocera Corporation announced that it will terminate its famed Contax-branded camera business. Production of Contax camera equipment was terminated at the end of March 2005, and shipment of most Contax camera equipment is to end by Sept. 2005.

The reason given for the pullout was Kyocera’s inability to keep up with rapid market changes. Kyocera will continue to provide servicing of Contax equipment for up to 10 years. It will also continue operating Contax Club (camera club) and the Contax Salon photo gallery in Tokyo for the time being. (Update: The gallery and camera club were terminated in 2009.)

The English translation of their press release has a slight error in one paragraph.
http://global.kyocera.com/news/2005/0402.html

The sentence
“Although Carl Zeiss and Kyocera have entered into a long term co-operation regarding the development, production and sale of CONTAX-branded cameras, Kyocera has decided to terminate such business due to difficulties in catching up with the recent rapid market changes.”

should have been translated as:

“Although Carl Zeiss and Kyocera have cooperated for many years to develop, manufacture, and market CONTAX-branded cameras, Kyocera has decided to terminate this relationship due to difficulties in catching up with rapid market changes.”

I hope you (and they) can see the difference in the meaning and implication.

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Photo Exhibition in Genova, Italy

Genova, Italy, a lovely seaside city, will be holding a major Japanese art exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale, the city’s grandest exhibition hall (it used to be a palace), during April to August 2005.

It will show ukiyoe, posters, textiles, and photographs. I was the co-curator of the photography exhibition which will show images of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb aftermath. One highlight will be pictures of Nagasaki taken on the day after the bomb by Yosuke Yamahata.

http://hiroshima-nagasaki.gam2005.com/

http://www.palazzoducale.genova.it/eng/naviga.asp?pagina=9314

Update: Photos of the exhibition:
http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=90

Press release in Italian for the photo exhibition:

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Fotografia della memoria A cura di Rossella Menegazzo e Ono Philbert

La mostra e` sorta per ricordare e commemorare il sessantesimo anniversario del bombardamento atomico delle citta` di Hiroshima e di Nagasaki il 6 e il 9 agosto 1945. Essa si avvale della collaborazione organizzativa del Museo della Pace di Hiroshima e del Museo della Pace di Tokyo e si compone di tre parti.

La prima, divisa in due sezioni ciascuna dedicata a una delle due citta`, consiste di una serie di settanta fotografie che costituiscono i primi documenti visivi della catastrofe. Le immagini furono scattate nei giorni immediatamente successivi allo scoppio delle due bombe. HAYASHI Shigeo, HIMURA Ken’ichi, MIYATAKE Hajime, MATSUSHIGE Yoshito, sono alcuni dei fotografi che ripresero per primi la catastrofe di Hiroshima: le rovine, le distruzioni, gli oggetti, i cadaveri, i sopravvissuti. Impressionante il montaggio a 360° di Hayashi: la visione di un altro mondo. YAMAHATA Yosuke e` invece il piu` importante testimone del disastro di Nagasaki. Le sue foto, scattate per la massima parte il giorno dopo l’esplosione, sono state di recente oggetto di una trasmissione dell’ente televisivo di Stato (NHK) che, attraverso i volti ritratti, ha potuto ricostruire, riconoscere e in alcuni casi rintracciare diversi sopravvissuti.

La seconda parte consiste di una serie di ventisei pannelli fotografici e didattici in cui viene ricostruita la storia, diventata simbolo di pace e speranza, della piccola Sadako e delle sue mille gru di carta. La gru e` in Giappone sinonimo di buon auspicio e di longevita`. Quelle colorate di carta che Sadako comincio` a creare mentre era in ospedale per la leucemia generata dalle radiazioni, dovevano accompagnarla a una guarigione che non ci fu. Da allora gru di carta come le sue continuano a essere create e donate da grandi e piccini che visitano il Parco della Pace di Hiroshima intorno al museo. Anche la campana del Parco e` in forma di gru.

La terza parte di questa mostra commemorativa e` un’istallazione creata da Riccardo Blumer con Gian Carlo Calza per la memoria e la meditazione. Occupera` l’intera Corte Grande di Palazzo Ducale fino all’ultimo piano e verra` montata per il 22 giugno per essere aperta con un evento.

Schedule in Italian:
http://www.palazzoducale.genova.it/eng/naviga.asp?pagina=9086

In case you’ll be visiting Italy, please drop by.

Japan: A Self-Portrait published

I’m happy to announce that a new book about Japanese photography has been published in English as follows:

Title: Japan : A Self Portrait

By: Osam Hiraki, Alain Sayag, Keeichi Takeuchi
Publisher: Flammarion; (October 29, 2004)
ISBN: 2080304631
Hardcover, 216 pages

This is a major work featuring B/W works produced during the post-war period of 1945 to 1964 by well-known Japanese photographers. They are Ken Domon, Hiroshi Hamaya, Tadahiko Hayashi, Eikoh Hosoe, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Kikuji Kawada, Ihee Kimura, Shigeichi Nagano, Ikko Narahara, Takeyoshi Tanuma, and Shomei Tomatsu.

It’s mainly documentary photos and while many are already well-known and published, there are some that are rarely seen. Everything is in English and a complete book review is forthcoming. It is really a beautiful book.

I was one of the consultants for this book, and my name and Web site are mentioned in the Acknowledgements.

Japanese and French versions are also available. See sample photos at Amazon.com.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=photoguidejap-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=2080304631&fc1=000000&=1&lc1=0000ff&bc1=ffffff&lt1=_blank&IS2=1&bg1=ffffff&f=ifr

Culture Prize to Daido Moriyama in Germany

Daido Moriyama will be presented with the Cultural Award of the German Society for Photography (DGPH) on November 1. applause

The presentation will take place in the Komedsaal, Media Park 7, Cologne, at 11:00 a.m.
Laudatio: Ferdinand Brueggemann; Lecture on Daido Moriyama: Masafumi Fukagawa, Kawasaki City Museum
http://www.dgph.de/dgph/preise/kulturpreis2004_e.html

Daido Moriyama born in 1938 in Osaka is one of the most important Japanese photographers since 1945. His work plays a central role in establishing Japanese photography as one of the most creative directions in the history of photography. During the “Provoke Era” at the end of the 1960s/beginning of the 1970s Moriyama made a significant contribution to the development of photography and his influence on younger Japanese artists continues up until today.
http://www.moriyamadaido.com

by Kamui

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