Inside Story

JUMP! in Ginza

"We have also had some participatory exhibitions," said Wada. The Alex Majoli Photo Exhibition "ONE JUMP!", which opened in September 2009, featured photographs of film world celebrities attending the Cannes Film Festival. At Majoli's request, they jumped for the camera. The images attracted considerable attention for the way that the viewer could discover something unexpected in the jumping forms of the celebrities, who included former U.S. vice president Al Gore and actress Monica Bellucci. "In order to give visitors the chance to experience the same excitement, a jump platform was provided in the gallery. Each person was photographed jumping and given a print to take home. Everyone who participated in the jumping made a great smiling face," explained Wada. Of course, photographer Alex Majoli also jumped for the camera himself. Are any other galleries where it is possible for the photographer himself to become a photo subject in accordance with the exhibition theme?

Alex Majoli Photo Exhibition -ONE JUMP!-
The notice for Alex Majoli Photo Exhibition "ONE JUMP!"

Presenting images of animals printed close to life-size, "the Ginza Zoo" Photo Exhibition by Takayuki Maekawa was held in August 2009. During the exhibition, uchiwa fans were made for visitors using images that they brought. "Rather than just providing photographs to be viewed, I think we were able to show people ways to use photographs that they take themselves," said Seto. "The appearance of a zoo in Ginza really attracted a lot of attention, and it being summer vacation time, there were many, many families who visited," Seto recalled. "We heard comments such as 'Wow, a panda is really big!' There seemed to be many people for whom seeing a life-size image created a different impression than seeing the real thing moving in a zoo."

The notice for the Ginza Zoo Photo Exhibition
The notice for the "Ginza Zoo" Photo
Exhibition. (Click to enlarge)

A zoo appeared in Ginza!
A zoo appeared in Ginza! (Click to enlarge)

Making the most of a round space

"The fact that RING CUBE floors have a doughnut shape seems to motivate photographers to really think hard about how their images can be best displayed," said Wada. "There was a photographer who said 'During the preparations, every time I looked at a round plate I would remember RING CUBE and think about what kind of layout to use.'" Compared to standard photo exhibition spaces, having a doughnut-shaped, glass-enclosed space would seem to be a disadvantage, but many photographers go the other way and consider it an advantage. Since the wall is curved, it is possible to also have a panoramic view of images farther along while viewing those close at hand. A variety of display techniques are tried, such as suspending a cube with five surfaces for looking up at images from below. The fact that the space itself is "different" makes RING CUBE a gallery where people can create displays that really focus on showing the photographs to best advantage.

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