New Material Walk-through with Dan Abbe

Tuesday, June 7, 6-8pm: New Material exhibition walk-through with writer Dan Abbe.

New Material presents eight young artists from Japan engaged in new photographic approaches that combine the highly experimental with the deeply personal. Featured in the exhibition are works by Kenta Cobayashi, Motoyuki Daifu, Fumiko Imano, Yoshi Kametani, Momo Okabe, Hiroshi Takizawa, Naohiro Utagawa, and Daisuke Yokota.

Dan Abbe is a photography writer born in San Francisco in 1984 and was one of the first people to recognize and write about the younger generation of photographers emerging out of Tokyo. His blog ‘Street Level Japan’, which he started while living in Tokyo, was widely considered the best and most comprehensive English language blog about contemporary Japanese photography. His fresh perspective and accessible, pared-down style connected the Tokyo scene to a wider, international photography audience, and gained him an immediate and loyal following.

Abbe moved to Japan in 2009. While teaching English as a second language, he immersed himself in Tokyo’s small but thriving art photography community (his business card simply said “I like photography” in Japanese) and started blogging about a new generation of photographers and supporters who were gathering momentum in small spaces that operated more like community centers than commercial galleries – hubs for emerging talent. He eventually became fluent in Japanese, further devoting himself to understanding the culture of Japanese art photography and where it was headed. His blog aimed at introducing these new photographers to a wider audience, and bringing Japanese photography out of the long shadow cast by the Provoke-era greats widely celebrated in the West.

Dan Abbe is currently a PhD Candidate in art history at UCLA, where he specializes in Japanese art and the history of photography. He is a long-time contributor to American Photo, LPV and Tokyo Art Beat and continues to blog about a wide range of photography-related concerns on his own platform,