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Art / photography

Recreating a German project 100 years ago "People in Miura Exhibition"

100年前のドイツのプロジェクトを再現 「三浦の人びと展」

Expressing the town of Miura as a portrait

--Mr. Aritaka has recently moved to Zushi, and Mr. Kuwamura has recently moved to Miura.

Aritaka : I've lived in Tokyo for over 20 years, and I used to come to Zushi on location, but I happened to have a house I liked and moved to Zushi four years ago. At first it was quite difficult to get to Tokyo, but the train is convenient and I'm getting used to it.

Osamu Kuwamura : I'm a Kansai person and have lived in Tokyo all the time. I was working as an editor of a music magazine, and I moved to Miura because I wanted to spend my private time relaxing in a situation where I had a monthly deadline and stayed in the office.

Kuwamura : Miura is a very attractive city with a thriving agriculture and fishing industry, delicious food, and abundant nature. From the perspective of us migrants, there are many locals who love Miura, but I wanted to do an "artistic project" that would allow young people to rediscover the "charm of the region." A few years ago, I released an app that introduces the direct sales of vegetables on the Miura Peninsula, but during the production, I went to each farmer to collect content. Through such activities, I deepened my relationship with the local people, learned about the problems that the region faces, and came to feel that way.

Aritaka : When I connected with people from Miura for food and participated in the activities of the food network, there were many interesting people, and then I started taking pictures of farmers and fishermen as my own work. ..

Osamu Kuwamura : I knew that Mr. Aritaka was taking such pictures, so I had talked about wanting to make something into something for a long time. Therefore, Kanto Gakuin University, which received the adoption of the "Cultural Arts Promotion Project Utilizing Universities" by the Cultural Agency, asked me at the right time to make a plan through SaMAL, which connects the art projects of Sagami Bay and Miura Peninsula. , The project started in earnest.

Exhibition at Misakiguchi Station
Exhibition at Misakiguchi Station

――Is the exhibited work different from the one you were shooting?

Aritaka : This time, I took all the photos for the photo exhibition.

Osamu Kuwamura : August Sander, a photographer who was active about 100 years ago, expresses one era with portraits of farmers, bricklayers, and cooks living in the Rhein region of Germany. You were doing a project. For example, I think it's a little difficult to do it in Tokyo or Yokohama. Most people who work in the city are wearing suits, and they don't really understand the work because of their appearance and texture. However, Miura has many primary industries, so I planned a project that was established 100 years ago in Germany, but I think Miura could still do it.

Aritaka : When I heard from Mr. Kuwamura that the concept was Zander, I was convinced that Miura would be able to shoot from this perspective.

"People of Miura" that local residents think

――How did you choose the subject?

Aritaka : I'm a Zushi person, and I don't know all the people in Miura, so I asked the executive committee members to recommend me through Mr. Kuwamura and others.

Osamu Kuwamura : I've lived in Miura for about five years, so I didn't have any connection with people who have been there for a long time. In doing this project, you formed an executive committee by gathering people born and raised in Miura and young children. Therefore, we had a lot of discussions about what kind of people should be photographed to express Miura.
In that discussion, for example, there was an opinion that a doctor who has been in charge of health examinations at school for a long time should be selected as the subject. He is 87 years old, but he has been a doctor in Miura for 50 years. Many people who grew up in Miura know this. But people like us who come from outside don't know that there are such people. It was the result of discussions at the executive committee that I was able to photograph such an existence.
By the way, the doctor specializes in dermatology and urology, and he knew a lot about the history of Miura's men and was able to hear valuable stories.

Aritaka : The story of the Showa era when it was moist.

Exhibition at Misaki Port venue
Exhibition at Misaki Port venue

Osamu Kuwamura : Miura was a downtown area that prospered with tuna in the Showa period and had several movie theaters. In such a place, fishermen who were in the pelagic fishery come back to the harbor and play a lot. I heard a lot of such stories (laughs).

I think it was important for this exhibition to be decided by discussing the selection of subjects with the people who were born and raised in Miura.

――What kind of people gathered in the executive committee?

Osamu Kuwamura : There are young farmers in their 20s and 30s, wallpaper shops, seed shops, donut shops, noodle makers, civil servants, and video creators.

Mr. Kuwamura : Not necessarily everyone, but people who were born and raised in the local area, and I used to hold two events in Miura called "Town Project Planning Course" to think about art projects, but many of them met there. hey.

Aritaka : There are farmers and noodle makers on the executive committee of the photo exhibition, and although the work is not related to photography, it's interesting that everyone makes it together.

Members of the executive committee
Members of the executive committee

Osamu Kuwamura : When we hold the "Miura People Exhibition", we hold two events called "Think in Miura! Town Project Planning Course" to think about how to hold an art event in the city of Miura. It was. This is a two-part event, and the first part invites the executive committee members of "Manazuru Machinare" and "Hayama Arts Festival" to talk about what it means to hold an art event in the area. I heard. In the second part, we had a discussion with the participants, "What kind of art event can Miura do?" The executive committee also includes people who actively expressed their opinions during this event. Art is not something that has such a high threshold, and I think it's okay to start with the idea of simply doing something interesting. This event was an opportunity to open the door to people who are willing to participate in the "Miura People Exhibition".

Mr. Kuwamura : I want to do something here to solve Miura's problems such as population decline, increase in vacant houses, and infrastructure! I understand that there are a lot of young people who think that, and high school students also came.

"One-on-one match" with the subject

--Did you get the cooperation of everyone in the town smoothly?

Aritaka : This is my first attempt, so I explained it in detail and carefully. There were so many things that I couldn't stop talking.

Osamu Kuwamura : There was no one who was shy about the subject.

Aritaka : The style of shooting was that I should hold a tripod and enter the frame of the camera instead of chasing the person. Because of that style, there weren't many people who were scared, and everyone was prepared and it felt like a one-on-one match.

Exhibition at the Misaki downtown venue
Exhibition at the Misaki downtown venue

Osamu Kuwamura : However, some of the subjects asked me, "Should I laugh?", But on the contrary, I asked them, "Don't laugh." I'm also doing staging when shooting the "Miura People Exhibition". But I didn't want you to do something like a smirk. I'm directing to express the subject, but I don't need a smirk or a lie. That is the part I was very careful about.

Aritaka : At first, you told me not to laugh.

Osamu Kuwamura : I want you to add parentheses. Because we think it's cool too. However, you don't smile when you work normally. Of course there is such a job. That's why it's natural and nice.

Aritaka : If that happens, I'll be filmed, so it won't be a work. It's not fun to keep going, and I tried to bring it to this style as much as possible. I'm shooting with almost the same single focus lens. I've been shooting people from various professions from the beginning with the theme of the same perspective and the same sense of distance, so I didn't have to worry too much about it.

Exhibition at the Misaki downtown venue
Exhibition at the Misaki downtown venue

Osamu Kuwamura : When shooting, the place where you shoot was also a very important factor. When I took a picture of a shirasu fisherman, I even gathered at 5 am and took a boat together to accompany the shirasu fisherman, fishing for about 4 hours and then returning. I couldn't leave the ship without Shirasu, so I rescheduled about 3 times and finally I was able to accompany him. Some of them took a lot of time to take a picture like that, and some of them took 5 minutes. The waitress girl in the coffee shop negotiated on the spot and took a picture.

At the time of shooting, I also shot a video interview with the subject. At the exhibition hall, not only photographs but also videos of the subjects will be introduced.

Timeless landscape

――Did you decide from the beginning to make it monochrome?

Aritaka : When Mr. Kuwamura told me that I wanted to exhibit at the fish market, when I went to see the site, I definitely thought that monochrome would be cooler if it was this rugged and huge hako.

Osamu Kuwamura : I thought that shooting in black and white could be timeless. You can see the timeliness of colors. There was also the aim of being able to show Zander's 100-year-old photographs and modern photographs at the same time in monochrome. I think using the fish market as an art gallery is an unprecedented attempt. It's a very special place, so I think it will be a photo exhibition I've never seen before. This fish market has a total length of about 100m. For example, in Tokyo, there aren't many passages that can go straight for 100 meters. We are thinking of an exhibition that effectively uses the straight aisle of this market. Anyway, it's a big venue, so we will exhibit works that match the scale. I would be happy if people who like photography and art would come.

Misaki Fisheries Regional Wholesale Market
Misaki Fisheries Regional Wholesale Market

――What kind of activities are you planning in the future?

Osamu Kuwamura : Miura is a photogenic town. At the time of the first exhibition, it seems that there was a photo session in Misaki, and about 250 amateur photographers came from all over the Kanto region. The old townscape of downtown Misaki remains, and there are remnants of the Showa era. People living there are also pictures. There is something that photographers will want to take, both the scenery of the city and the people.

Aritaka : That's the first time I've come to Misaki a lot. There were a lot of back alleys and so on. I miss the air flow somewhere, and I want to go with the camera in one hand.

Osamu Kuwamura : The theme of the "Miura People Exhibition" was to express the city in portraits. I think we can do photography-related projects from a different perspective.
There are many members of the executive committee who like music, so I think we can hold art events that are different from the ones in the photo. I would like to create an opportunity to express art and culture in the Miura area.

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