My good friend, Chris Willson is having an exhibition of his fantastic matsuri images at the Pentax Forum in Shinjuku at the moment. The exhibition runs to the first of October and is open from 10:30 until 6:30. Chris lives in Okinawa but has come up to Tokyo to greet visitors himself for the next week.
At the exhibition you will be able to see some truly amazing large prints of Japan’s energetic festivals, both great and small. Signed prints of some of the matsuri pics and other images of Japan, many of which you can see at his website here, are also available for sale at the exhibition. The images are colourful of course but it is the minutia he has collected that are most worth exploring. The faces in the crowd, the false moustaches of a costume blowing in the breeze. or the dirt , dust, damage and details in clothes and faces that add to the intimacy of the experience. Chris is an especially good portrait photographer, in the midst of a matsuri or in the studio, probably because his subjects all look and feel so relaxed with him.
One of my oldest friends in Japan, although we rarely meet due to geography and hectic schedules on both our parts, he is a great man to get to know so you should visit this week if you can: not only an exceptional photographer but someone that it is just fun to be around as you can see in the image above. Indeed the second image is, I think, the most serious I have ever managed to catch him in camera. The first is more usual.
Just go, it is time well spent!
UPDATE: Oops forgot to turn the watermark feature off when I converted these images. Please try and ignore that I will replace them when I have time.