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Anime to Zen Photographs Fall 2020 Course

Week six of Dr. Jones’s fall 2020 Anime to Zen: Contemporary Japanese Visual and Material Culture turned to photography. Students captured and discussed images relating to the work of Ishiuchi Miyako, Moriyama Daido, and Yanagi Miwa. Themes addressed include, in reference to Ishiuchi’s work, isolation and abandonment; in reference to Moriyama’s practice, capturing a mundane, local moment in its blurry, grainy, and out of focus “truth”; and in reference to Yanagi’s photographs, expectations of women and imagining oneself in the future.

Emma Koehn's Statement

Moriyama Daido takes photos that have a heavy sense of a presence in the moment. This is achieved by taking a photo without stopping as he walks through the city. The most important part of his work to me is how much the image represents the feeling of realizing you exist in a moment, and that whatever is happening in the space at that time is significant in some way. The blurred and high contrast qualities of his photos represent the weight and significance of the moment.

My image relates by taking a photo in the moment I am currently in. It may not be as exciting a moment as he is in as he walks through the city, but it is just as significant and weighty. The photo was taken as I sit in my chair, alone in my room, picking up my scissors to work on a covid-regulation-compliant mask. It represents the moment I am in, just as Moriyama Daido's photos represent the moment he is in as well. It represents the feeling of presence that I feel when I realize I am making an object that I would not have made half a year ago. Just as he can feel himself existing in the moment of the photo, I too can feel myself existing in this moment of solitude and historical clamor.

– Emma Koehn (Moriyama Daido)


– Ren Dessart (Yanagi Miwa)


– Moriah Barksdale (Yanagi Miwa)


– Jenna Howland (Moriyama Daido)


– Caroline Powell (Ishiuchi Miyako)


– Sean Voelger (Moriyama Daido)


– Jaclyn Doyle (Moriyama Daido)


– Danielle Ike (Yanagi Miwa)


– Katherine Lafferty (Moriyama Daido)


– Grace Labbate Lafferty (Moriyama Daido)

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