It’s currently autumn in Japan, and the trees are a fire of reds, oranges, yellows, and still some greens. The photo below is one of mine taken in Mie Prefecture at Mt. Gozaisho, near the well-known Yunoyama town, which is known for its hot springs. Though the photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, perhaps the best colours of autumn is now. Consequently, there are lots of hikers and nature lovers out and about enjoying the hues of autumn. Though places like Nara and Kyoto are the popular destinations, they are the most crowded. For you, Japan is known for its zen, it’s state of peace and tranquillity. Nara and Kyoto are nothing like this western idealistic view of ‘zen’, but Gozaisho and hiking destinations are perhaps the modern equivalent. How times change. In any case, here are some useful websites for is you’re planning a trip: Wikipedia/Gozaisho, and the official Gozaisho website.
Click on the image to be taken to my Agent’s website where the image can be licensed.
Gondolas at Gozaisho, Mie prefecture, central Japan. Click on the image to be taken to the place where it can be licensed.
Usually censorship is a good thing. It filters hate groups and other non-family friendly content. Such content is often still allowed to exist, but not be broadly publicly published / viewable. I have no disagreements with such policies. However, mainly American film and media organisations have tried to create international laws in the form of PIPA, SOPA, and ACTA (Wikipedia), (which each have seen protests against, and were successively abandoned). These laws used the ‘censorship’ word to severely restrict the internet with the express aim of allowing corporations to protect their own products at the expense of internet-based free speech (political, artistic, expressionist, etc) and possibly blocking out rival products, whilst at the same time allowing governments to include laws that curtail freedom of speech in democratic countries. The kind of internet censorship being discussed is undemocratic and can result in ordinary good citizens being labelled as criminals, and has nothing to do with protecting family values and curtailing hate group propaganda.
An international meeting will soon be held on the topic of the Internet and will include discussion on censorship (DailyWireless, TechRadar, Google/TakeAction). After the protests in the EU earlier this year on the same topic (TechCrunch: Tech Companies Against SOPA), EU leaders now understand that they cannot sign off on a law that is simply put in front of them, and so they are apparently suspicious of any talk of internet censorship.
If you support democratic free speech, and enjoy the current culture you enjoy on the internet, then you must take a look at Google’s page called “Take Action”.
This Photo of the Week is titled New Religion: Idol Shop. Some photos from this collection were on display at the recent Foreign Artists Exhibition (FAE27), and so this POTW is the final POTW-hurrah from that collection. It seems to me that Japanese society is in transition from a religious oriented society to a consumerist or fashion brand-idolling society. This image is perhaps one of the signature pieces that helps the viewer be more oriented to the theme and conversation of New Religion. Also see the comments in last weeks POTW for more idea of what New Religion is.
Two questions that came up often at the FAE last week were:
PhotoShelter is the host of about half of my portfolio (Asia Photo Connection is my agent and shows the other half of my photo library). The planned system upgrade, and site downtime, was originally scheduled for last week, but Hurricane Sandy had that postponed.
The upgrade and site downtime will now be:
START: 11:00 PM EST 9-NOV-2012
END: 05:00 AM EST 10-NOV-2012
(US Eastern Standard Time – GMT-05:00)
Duration: 6 hours
(Info from PhotoShelter email, 8th Nov 2012)
Which translates to:
Start: 9th Nov 11pm New York time = 10th Nov 1pm Tokyo time = 10th Nov 4am GMT
Finish: 10th Nov 5am New York time = 10th Nov 7pm Tokyo time = 10th Nov 10am GMT
This Photo of the Week is from the New Religion collection, specifically New Religion: Retail Fulfilment. It, and some others from the same collection are on display this week at the 27th Foreign Artists Exhibition (FAE27) at the Nagoya International Centre, from 6-11th Nov 2012, open from 10am to 7pm Tue – Sat, and 10am to 5pm Sunday, free entry, 4th floor of the Nagoya International Building.
The FAE27 New Religion display includes 6 photos and great haiku by local haiku poet Leah Ann Sullivan. She has written a selection of haiku on the theme of consumerism, shopping, religion, which are also the themes of New Religion. Both the haiku and the photographs complement each other wonderfully, and are intentionally candy for the thinking-connoisseur. The photos are available for purchase (without frame) or for gallery quality printing and shipping.
Interestingly, last year, I conceived of and presented at the FAE26Poem of a Cacophonous City. It was the first time I’d seen double-exposure film photography for so, so many years that I honestly can’t remember the last double-exposure photo before I first saw before my own works were processed. Then I showed my Poem of a Cacophonous City on the internet, followed by Jazz Improv, and then I have started to see double-exposure photography done elsewhere by other people in the last few months. Then last week I saw someone’s double-exposure photos on display at a photography store here in Nagoya. And then this recent video by Digital Rev TV. Now, I take it as a compliment that it seems I’ve started a trend. I already am planning a new collection to follow up on this hat trick. In the mean time, enjoy New Religion (no pun intended).
Some JapanesePhotos.Asia services provided by PhotoShelter may be interrupted. PhotoShelter is New York based, and as you may be aware, many businesses in New York are currently without power, and so too many parts of Eastern United States. Consequently, there may be interruptions to the services of both PhotoShelter and Adomrama, a print vendor that supplies some printed photographs to customers via PhotoShelter orders. If there are problems, please contact me and I’ll try to help as soon as I can.