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To Japanese version Introducing John Wells

Omi-Maiko (Lake Biwa)

A student of film making and art at Antioch College in Ohio, USA, John moved to Kyoto, Japan in the spring of 1993 to begin working as an animator and filmmaker. He still works mainly as a filmmaker in Kyoto.

During the summers of 1998 to 2001, he went to Omi-Maiko, a dreamy lakeside beach in neighboring Shiga Prefecture to photograph the summer youth scene. There he met a variety of people including bikini-clad young women, guys trying to pick them up, families, and couples.

His other artistic activities include the production of a hand-made magazine called Kisetsuga (seasonal pictures) for 6 months from spring 2000. It was an experimental crossing of sublime seasonal awareness with images of youth and street activity.

Also, in collaboration with two other photographers, John later spent two and a half years photographing hand-made "wanted" posters created by the Japanese police for members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult. The resulting photographs were incorporated into works of collage and oil painting for a series titled Wanted, exhibited in Tokyo in 1999.

Recent photographic work include a series of portraits and still lifes titled Asyan Paradyse, Nostalgia for Nationalist Squid, featuring photos of a slimy squid in unexpected places. They can be seen at his Web site:

KIPS 2001 Exhibition: Omi-Maiko 1998-2001

In his large space (12 meters or 39 ft), John showed ten portraits and snapshots taken on the shores of Lake Biwa at Omi-Maiko, in Shiga Prefecture. He had a variety of people--men, women, couples, children, and families. The photo of a tattooed man perhaps drew the most amazement. The photo of the lake and sand with only two pairs of slippers was also a favorite among viewers.

To Japanese version

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Last modified: September 17, 2006