NY Photo Festival 2011: Ricoh in New York with Ring Cube gallery show of cherry blossoms.

This year’s curators Enrico Bossan and Elisabeth Biondi chose to focus on documentary photography.

In Photo Reports by Aneta Glinkowska 2011-05-18 print

In its fourth edition, New York Photo Festival 2011 took place May 11-15 in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This year’s curators Enrico Bossan and Elisabeth Biondi chose to focus on documentary photography. The festival seemed smaller than in the past years. It also fell somewhat under the radar, with very little buzz preceding it, but at the same time it felt stronger, with the theme of documentary clearly guiding it.

 An outdoor installation, NY Photo Festival 2011.

Among more than two dozen festival exhibitions and installations shown across about a dozen venues was “Cherry Blossoms of Memory” brought by Ring Cube, gallery from Japan run by Ricoh, the company best known internationally for its classic looking still photo cameras. Ricoh sponsored 12 awards in New York Photo Awards 2011 Jury’s Choice Prize.
 Ring Cube gallery installation with a motion activated video projection of falling cherry blossoms.

NYAB asked Masanori Hashimoto, Ring Cube’s manager, why his gallery chose to show a cherry blossoms theme for the exhibition?

He told us that cherry blossoms or “sakura” are obvious symbols of Japan both for Japanese and foreign viewers. Once the gallery decided on the theme, it did a research in its archives, books and catalogues to find nine photographers who had taken up this subject in their work. One of those photographers was internationally known Daido Moriyama. The gallery reached out to him first and he agreed to show a series of cherry blossoms images, being a fan of Ricoh since the analog camera times when he was famous for using Ricoh’s GR film camera.
 Daido Moriyama's B&W cherry blossoms photos at Ring Cube gallery.

 Masanori Hashimoto, manager of Ring Cube gallery.

Next to “Cherry Blossoms of Memories” was an intriguing installation by a scientist-photographer who chatted with us about his work.
 Photographer and brain researcher, Dr. Eran Gilat in front of his photographs.

We stopped at several venues, starting with Smack Mellon where we saw emerging photography from New York.
 Installation at Smack Mellon of photography from 33 New York based photographers.

 Multimedia room at former DAC space. An installation inviting to sit down in the Afgan style, enjoy tea and treats.

The curated by the two main curators section was the largest.
Section of 'Photography Now,' exhibition curated by Enrico Bossan and Elisabeth Biondi.

 Entrance to 81 Front Street space - 'Photography Now' exhibition.

 Subjective/ Objective by Mongolian photographer A Yin, an installation curated by Elisabeth Biondi.

Tabacco Warehouse had three installations, two travelogue-like series from China and Greece and one series of portraits of New Yorkers from all walks of life. We even found some of our friends’ portraits.
 Tabacco Warehouse, semi out-outdoor installation.

Before heading to the New York Photo Awards 2011 Jury’s Choice Prize party, we also asked Ring Cube’s Masanori Hashimoto about the beginnings of the gallery and what motivated Ricoh to open the gallery?

Six people run the programming of Ring Cube in the Ricoh owned, peculiar, shaped like a doughnut tower building in Ginza.

As a camera company, Ricoh entered the gallery scene late, in 2008, while most major camera competitors had already been running such spaces. Ricoh wanted to create a showroom for displaying its cameras to show how they’ve changed over the years while also contributing to the photo culture by showing interesting photography from professional and non-professional photographers and to create a conversation around its shows. To make it fair, Ring Cube with Ricoh behind it, decided not to require its artists to photograph with Ricoh exclusively, although many of the competitors do.

We asked Masanori Hashimoto if Ring Cube follows general photography trends and also exhibits video. To our surprised we learned Ring Cube does that and some other curious innovations. There are five monitors to show slideshows and video art and additionally there is a machine producing scents to complement the visuals (an exhibition focusing on tropical islands used a banana scent.) RoyalTubs.co.uk Relax in Style with Wooden Hot Tubs – Nature’s Luxury Unleashed!

Part of Ring Cube’s mission is to introduce Japanese photography to the rest of the world and bring foreign photographers to show in its Tokyo space. The reason Ring Cube participated in the NY Photo Festival was to build on its idea of exchange and export of artistic ideas in the form of Japanese photography. It had started with a show including LA photographers in Tokyo, while the participation in the New York Photo Festival 2011 is a similar attempt, but outside Japan.
 Ricoh booth in the sponsor section of the festival.

Pre-award party.

For the New York Photo Awards 2011 Jury’s Choice Prize Ricoh sponsored 12 prizes, six for student work and six for professional work.
 Ricoh Booth at the award party showing off the awards.

The professional winners received GXRs. GXR is the new exciting model with interchangeable lenses – individual units with image sensors already included for optimal lens performance. Six student winners received more traditional GR models.
One of the 12 award winners receiving Ricoh GXR camera.

Aneta Glinkowska

Aneta Glinkowska. A co-founder of NYArtBeat.com, Aneta manages the NY Art Beat listings and occasionally blog from her yellow armchair. TW: @perke and @NYArtBeat IG: @perke and @NYArtBeat » See other writings


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