“I want to make pictures that lift people's spirits."
– Magnum Photos Photographer, Hiroji Kubota
Hiroji Kubota is the only Japanese full member of Magnum photos who loves Asia and has photographed all over its continent. He is internationally renowned as the best expert about Asia, as he successively served as the vice-president of Magnum Photos. His photographs have been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York City, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Shanghai Art Museum, and Barbican Center in London.
Kubota's path to Magnum Photos started from 1961. When the legendary members of Magnum Photos, Rene Burri, Elliot Erwitt, Burt Glinn and Brian Brake visited Japan, he assisted them as a 22 years old translator. Aspired by the first meeting, he, who studied political science at the Waseda University, moved to the United States to study photography. After settling down in Chicago, he started his own food catering business to support himself, and continue working on photography. In 1965, he received the first assignment as a Magnum Photos photographer from 'Sunday Times’ in London. He went to East Hampton to photograph the grave of Jackson Pollack. To solely continue his dream as a photographer, Kubota chose an uncertain job as a freelance documentary photographer.
This exhibition takes the spectrum of his photographs from his first assignment in 1965 to portraying his homeland in 2003 for overall 40 years. 6 categories of his story are displayed to deepen your insight into his photographing world: Becoming a Photographer, Global Traveler, Color, China, South & North Korea, and The American Landscape & Home. Elliott Erwitt, the full member of Magnum, whom Beaumont Newhall wrote about in his book, History of Photography, appraised Kubota that “his ability is his honest observation and unprejudiced documentation.” Kubota has been aspiring documental photography and sincerely capturing moments throughout history as an observer and chronicler. This exhibition widens your path to appreciating his works.
Excerpt from “Magnum photographer who loves Asia, Hiroji KUBOTA”
Lee, Ki-Myoung (Exhibition Director, Euro Photos/Magnum Korea Agent Managing Director)