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[Image]“Beyond 2023–2011” Photos by Taishi Hirokawa

Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture April 2023 ©Taishi Hirokawa

“Beyond 2023–2011” Photos by Taishi Hirokawa

FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo Exhibition

September 22 – October 12, 2023 (The exhibition closes at 14:00 on the final day)




  • See the transition of Kesennuma and other locations from the unbelievable devastation that Taishi Hirokawa encountered when he loaded his car with emergency supplies and rushed to the area stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake, through twelve years of fixed-point observations taken with 8 x 10 inch negative color film.
  • Contrast the pace of recovery in the debris clearing stage in the early aftermath of the disaster against the slowdown in progress during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Feel the determination to survive and the growth of the people from the local communities that accepted their fate, through twelve years of family portraits Taishi Hirokawa took for free in the stricken area.
  • Ponder how local communities will coexist with the surreal-looking mammoth concrete levees and breakwaters that were built to protect them.

About the exhibition

FUJIFILM SQUARE is hosting Taishi Hirokawa's “Beyond 2023–2011” photo exhibition from September 22 (Friday) to October 12 (Thursday), 2023. Since launching his career in 1974, Hirokawa has made a highly reputed name for himself as a photographer with many amazing photographs taken from unique perspectives, to note his “Sonomama Sonomama” series of inordinary portaits of rural folks dressed in designer brands and his “Babel: Ordinary Landscapes” in which he questions the relationship between human existence and the living earth through landscapes that juxtapose man-made structures and the natural environment, all the while pursuing a broad range of activities via diverse media including fashion, advertising and other commericial photography and cinematography.

Taishi Hirokawa also cares about communities. Having learned of the unimaginable damage caused by the tsunami that was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Hirokawa asked himself what he could do to help. As soon as that became clear to him, he jumped into action, loaded up his car with emergency supplies and headed north without any set destination. While in the stricken area, the sight of albums and photos floating on the yet unreceded waters and people searching for family photos weighed heavily on his heart. So, in one corner of the ill-fated Kesennuma City Office, he began offering to take family portraits for free to those who desired them in October 2011. He has continued this service every year since then till now, except during the period that the Covid-19 pandemic shut him down.

Parallel to that, Hirokawa also took fixed-point observations in and around Kamaishi, Rikuzentakata and Kesennuma over the ensuing twelve years.

This exhibition presents for the first time both the fixed-point observations of devastated landscapes and portraits of the people that Hirokawa took in the aftermath of the disaster between 2011 and now. It shows the destruction that Mother Nature caused and the time-consuming process of recovering a way of life that was turned on its head, and should provide ample opprtunity to think about what has happened over the past twelve years and ponder what's next.


Taishi Hirokawa

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. Has held solo exhibitions around the world and shown at numerous art exhibitions by invitation. His photobooks include “Sonomama Sonomama”, “Still Crazy: Nuclear Power Plants As Seen in Japanese Landscapes”, “Sounds From the Planet”, “Timescapes”, “Whimsical Forces”, “Babel: Ordinary Landscapes”, “Fuji Sun”, “Bus Stops in L.A. 1974—75” and more.
Recipient of the Kodansha Culture Award, NY Art Directors’ Club Award, MEXT Commendation, METI Minister's Award, Photographic Society of Japan Annual Award, Higashikawa Domestic Photographer Prize and many more. Works owned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Francois Mitterrand Library, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, National Museum of Modern (Tokyo) and others.

Exhibition overview

Title FUJIFILM SQUARE Photo Exhibition
“Beyond 2023–2011” Photos by Taishi Hirokawa
Dates September 22 (Fri) – October 12 (Thu), 2023
Time 10:00 – 19:00
(Until 14:00 on the final day. Entry allowed up to 10 minutes before closing.)
Open every day for the full duration of the exhibition.
Venue Spaces 1, 2 & MiniGallery, Fujifilm Photo Salon Tokyo, FUJIFILM SQUARE
Admission Free

*This exhibition is being held as a corporate MECENAT activity. We are pleased to announce that admission is free to enable more people to attend.

Number of works About 250 (planned) color and black-and-white silver halide prints produced from 8 x 10 negative color film with the GFX100S large-format digital camera
Organized by FUJIFILM Corporation
Supported by Minato Ward Board of Education
With cooperation from Hirokawa Studio
Planned by Contact Co., Ltd.
Other stagings Spaces 1 & 2, Fujifilm Photo Salon Osaka
June 7 (Fri) — 19 (Wed), 2024

* This exhibition may be cancelled or rescheduled for unavoidable circumstances. Visit FUJIFILM SQUARE online or call for updates.

Related Program

A “talk event” featuring Taishi Hirokawa is in the planning for some point during the exhibition period. Details will be posted on the official FUJIFILM SQUARE website once available.

Fujifilm Photo Salon received the THIS IS MECENAT 2023 certificate by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts as an act of creating society through art and cultural promotion.