Discovering young photographers
Exhibition plans are decided one year in advance. So how are the decisions made? "Always keeping the RING CUBE concept in mind, there are cases where the operations staff approach photographers and also cases where photographers make proposals to us," said Wada. One part of the RING CUBE concept is to "value 'good photographs' over 'skilled photographs.'" "At RING CUBE, we want as many people as possible to experience photographs that leave an unforgettable impression," said Wada. "We also follow this concept in our solicitation of public submissions so it is our strong hope that people will submit."
RING CUBE also endeavors to discover young photographers. In May 2009, the "Editors' Choice" exhibition showed the works of "the most promising young photographers," as selected by the editors of 11 magazines. I was very happy when this led to new work opportunities for the young photographers, some of whom received work offers from other magazines as a result," said Seto. "On November 18, 2009, we opened the 'OVERSEAS -Young creators choosing the world-' exhibition featuring young Japanese photographers active outside Japan."
RING CUBE Now
In a new initiative for the "OVERSEAS" exhibition, doughnuts support members participated in the exhibition planning. A group comprised of people who support the RING CUBE concept, doughnuts currently has about 35 members. Up to now they have been involved in activities such as goods planning, Jikken Labo, and workshops. In parallel with those activities, they have attended seminars and prepared themselves for involvement in gallery exhibitions. The time now ripe, with "OVERSEAS" they participated in the exhibition planning for the first time.
"Based on an idea from doughnuts members, for the 'OVERSEAS' exhibition we began using Twitter* to distribute information," said Wada. The result is a new kind of photo exhibition where people can engage in two-way communication rather than just looking at photographs. "This is certainly a 'RING CUBE Now' idea. I think we are going to have a really young, energetic 'Now' kind of exhibition," she added.
- *Twitter: A communication site via which the short messages of a given user are sent to people who are that user's "followers." On Japanese Twitter the characters " " (pronounced similar to "now") are frequently attached to nouns to indicate something currently in progress.
As this shows, RING CUBE continues to take on one new challenge after another. All the staff agree: "We want this to be a place where people find the photograph they can never forget." Workshops and Jikken Labo activities are also held with the intention of improving display content, helping people get more enjoyment out of photographs, and encouraging them to use their cameras more often. Next time we will ask about those activities.