Renowned Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi has been named this year's recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, accompanied by a sizable cash prize. The award, given out each year to a photographer "recognized for major achievements", is worth 1,000,000 Swedish Krona (about NZ$185,000) and was awarded to Ishiuchi at an award ceremony in Tokyo late last week.
The foundation says Ishiuchi was chosen for the award because over a career of 35 years her uncompromising vision has produced some of the most powerful and personal representations of postwar Japan.
"Ishiuchi's work is extremely coherent and developing in a determined and distinctive way; using the camera and all of its aesthetic potential to investigate the intersection of the political and the personal aspects of memory Ishiuchi has been both a pioneer and a role model for younger artists, not least as a woman working in the male-dominated field of Japanese photography," the foundation's citation explains.
Ishiuchi joins a prestigious line up of photographers who have received the award since its inception in 1980, including Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, William Eggleston and Cindy Sherman.
Below is a selection of images from some of Ishiuchi's notable series of works, including Yokosuka Story, in which she poetically captures the influence of American occupation on her hometown (ideas expanded upon in the following Apartment and Endless Night projects); 1•9•4•7 and Innocence, in which the artist re-invented her aesthetic with close-up images of the body; Mother's, in which she documents items that have been in contact with her mother's body; ひろしま/hiroshima, in which she examines the affect memorialising the atomic bombings has had on Japanese society; and Silken Dreams, studying the importance and impact of the silk industry in Japan.
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Yokosuka Story#30
© Ishiuchi Miyak, Yokosuka Story#98
© Ishiuchi Miyak, Apartment#50
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Endless Night#71
© Ishiuchi Miyako, 1・9・4・7 #16
© Ishiuchi Miyako, 1・9・4・7 #49
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Innocence #34
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Innocence #47
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Mother's #3
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Mother's #49
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Mother's #52
© Ishiuchi Miyako, ひろしま/hiroshima#9, donor: Ogawa, R
© Ishiuchi Miyako, ひろしま/hiroshima#71
© Ishiuchi Miyako, Silken Dreams #06