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From Shimmering Snow
Tateyama, Northern Japan Alps, 1984
Skier: Hiroshi Hosono
©Akito Mizutani

Akito Mizutani
Shimmering Snow : A Masterpiece Revived

FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum Exhibition

Jan 4 – Mar 30, 2022

PHOTO HISTORY MUSEUM

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Highlights

The Shimmering Snow series, shot mainly from the latter half of the 1960s to the 1980s, is one of Akito Mizutani's early masterpieces.
With compelling power of composition, he captures world-class skiers gliding through the majestic natural landscape,their skis tracing beautiful forms in a world of shimmering white snow.
Shot by a photographer with an exquisite feeling for esthetics, sharply honed vision, and well-tempered physical intuition, transcend to form a unique world only Mizutani is capable of expressing.
The series of photographs has acclaimed in Japan and overseas as a masterpiece that should occupy a special place in the history of Japanese photography.

About the exhibition

The FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Akito Mizutani, whose body of work is mainly sports photography.

After a career of more than half a century focused on sports photography, Akito Mizutani (1940– ) continues to publish photographs that are at the forefront of the genre. Mizutani discovered skiing in the 1960s when he was in the process of becoming a mountain photographer. He first showed his work at Ski, Pushing the Limits (Fuji Photo Salon, 1970), a solo exhibition of ski photographs. Nothing like traditional ski photography, the coarse-grained closeups of skiers and the unpredictable dynamic compositions won Mizutani instant recognition as someone who had broken new ground in the field of ski photography.

An early masterpiece, the Shimmering Snow series, shot mainly from the latter half of the 1960s to the 1980s, marks the emergence of Akito Mizutani, the photographer. With compelling power of composition, he captures world-class skiers gliding through the majestic natural landscape, their skis tracing beautiful forms in a world of shimmering white snow. Shot by a photographer with an exquisite feeling for esthetics, sharply honed vision, and well-tempered physical intuition, these photographs transcend the bounds of sports photography and ski photography to form a unique world only Mizutani is capable of expressing. Acclaimed in Japan and overseas, the series of photographs has recently regained the spotlight as a masterpiece that should occupy a special place in the history of Japanese photography.

The exhibition presents new gelatin silver prints of about twenty carefully selected works from the Shimmering Snow series that launched the career of Akito Mizutani. The dynamic and beautiful works expressed in rich gradations of black and white represent both the starting point of photography, which is to record a specific moment, and the essence of photography, which is to express the photographer’s point of view. The photographs also shed light on the consistent and unique esthetic in Mizutani’s work, an esthetic that continues to this day. In an age when anyone can easily snap pictures, these photographs remind us of the value of universal photographic expression.

We hope you will enjoy the revival of Shimmering Snow, Akito Mizutani’s masterpiece, more than half a century after its inception.

Profile of the Photographer

Akito Mizutani (1940– )

Akito Mizutani was born in Iida City in Nagano Prefecture in 1940. When he graduated from Tokyo College of Photography in 1965, he started working as a freelance photographer. After switching from mountain photography to ski photography, he embarked on creative work while covering the World Cup in Alpine skiing. Later, he photographed all sports including the Olympics and many other world championships. For about twenty years, he has also served as head of the Mizutani Juku, his own school of photography set up to train young sports photographers. His principal photography collections include Extreme Shapes (Kyokugen no keishō, Ski Journal 1976), Shimmering Snow (Hakugin no Senkō, Power Life 1980), THE SKI (Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha, Ltd. 1992), THE ALPS (Yama-Kei Publishers Co., Ltd. 2002), and Shinanoji (Nihon Shashin Kikaku 2016). Mizutani has also won many awards during his career including the Twelfth Kodansha Publishing Culture Award for Photography (1981), the Third Iida City Shihachi Fujimoto Cultural Prize for Photography (2002), the Photographic Society of Japan Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), and the Yamaha Sport Challenge Award for Distinguished Service (2012).

Exhibition overview

Title FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum Exhibition
Akito Mizutani, Shimmering Snow : A Masterpiece Revived
Dates January 4 – March 30, 2022
Time 10:00 - 19:00 (The exhibition closes at 16:00 on the final day. Last admission is ten minutes before closing.) Open every day
Venue FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum
Admission Free

*This exhibition is being held as a corporate MECENAT activity. Admission is free to allow everyone to enjoy this exhibition.

Number of works approx. 20 works
Organizer FUJIFILM Corporation
Support Minato City Board of Education

* Exhibitions and events may be subject to cancellation or change by force of circumstances. Please check our website or via phone before visiting.

PHOTO HISTORY MUSEUM

~ History of Photography — more than 170 years ~

Not many museums focus on the historical evolution of the photographic arts and cameras like you will discover here. More than 170 years of history are recounted through exhibits of antique cameras and Fujifilm products, as well as periodic exhibitions of historically significant photos. You will revel at how photography has transitioned over the years.

MECENAT
In 2021, The FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo History Museum was recognized by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts for “contributions to society through the promotion of arts and culture” and has been authorized to use the “THIS IS MECENAT 2021” logo.