Classics of Baltic photography now on show in Tokyo

This week, on May 27th, a Baltic photography exhibition titled 'HUMAN BALTIC' opened at the prestigious Spiral Garden Gallery in Tokyo.

The joint Baltic humanistic photography exhibition in Japan showcases prints from the Baltic photography treasure trove – from the 1960s to the 1990s, including the works of such Latvian photographers as Andrejs Grants, Aivars Liepiņš, Gvido Kajons, Gunārs Binde, Zenta Dzividzinska and Māra Brašmane.  In total 120 works are on display.

Despite the photographers working with different techniques and themes, they are united by a humanistic photography approach: capturing everyday life, sometimes mundane and boring, other times romanticized. "What may seem mundane and too simple to us can evoke interest among Japanese people, allowing them to get to know the character of the Baltic people," summarizes the exhibition producer Sergej Grigorjev.

The final stop of the exhibition is an interactive app inviting Tokyo residents to learn about the Baltic Way, which united two million people in a history-making human chain. The app offers a route around the gallery through Tokyo's streets and alleys, presenting unseen photographs, rare video material, historical commentary, and new media content. 

The collection was curated by Dr. Agnė Narušytė (Lithuania) along with curators Iveta Gabaliņa (ISSP, Latvia), Toomas Järvet, and Kristel Aimee Laur (Juhan Kuus Documentary Photography Centre, Estonia).

The exhibition will be open until June 9 at the multifunctional art centre Spiral Garden in Tokyo. 

The exhibition works bear witness to Soviet restrictions on freedom and resonate with the current situation in Ukraine. Therefore, a boutique auction is being organized for Tokyo art lovers, with works donated by the exhibition's photographers, and the proceeds will be used to support Ukrainian refugees in Japan.

More about the initiative:

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