Nikon chickens outPosted: 11/06/2012
I must have seen dozens of photo exhibitions last year but only a handful made a strong impression. One was this one, in a small Shinjuku gallery, by Ahn Sehong (安世鴻). The man is taking and exhibiting photographs worth taking and exhibiting. He had two slim books (海巫 Haemu and 魂巫 Honmu) for sale and I was happy to buy and bring home a copy of each. Though not in that exhibition nor in either of the two books, among his subjects are the elderly survivors of Japanese wartime sex slavery.
A postcard from Nikon:
Yes, to its credit, the Nikon Salon had been going to exhibit this work later this month. But now it isn’t:
Nikon says that Ahn Sehong’s show has been cancelled. It cites various reasons (諸般の事情), none of which it deigns to specify.
The real reason appears when Ahn’s name is googled: lots of nitwits are proclaiming that he’s anti-Japanese. Liberally financed far-right thugs are offended by any mention of war crimes, when these war crimes are Japanese. They have hugely powerful megaphones and plenty of time and energy. But the police can and do protect embassies and similar from them. The question is, did Nikon contact the police, and if so, what was the response?
The office of the Governor of Tokyo is a few minutes’ walk from the Nikon Salon. Perhaps the current Governor would care to support the freedom to quietly remind others of facts that noisy minorities happen to want expunged from public memory. (But more likely not, as he too prefers a fantasy account of the past.)
If I were a photographer, I’d happily add I’ve added my name to this petition. But I’m still wondering how best to let nikon.com know they really fucked up but they can still come out on top.