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Global photo organization to open Tokyo chapter with 3/11 event

by Mads Berthelsen

Staff Writer

Originally started in San Francisco in 2008, the photography event organization Open Show has spread to Cairo, Paris and more than 30 other cities around the world. On May 15 it will hold its first event in Japan.

Open Show events are monthly and somewhat similar to the internationally popular PechaKucha Night events in that they bring together creative minds and provide an opportunity for audience interaction. Open Show differs in that the emphasis is on visual arts and includes video works as well as slides shows. The regular format brings together five artists, but the launch on May 15 will feature two artists and one reporter.

In the long term, the organizers of Open Show hope to foster a small community that consists of both acclaimed artists and up-and-comers — anyone can apply to be a presenter.

The focus of the May 15 event is to commemorate the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011. Attendees will be able to watch presentations from Isao Monden, a photographer from the Sendai newspaper Kahoku Shimpo; Daisuke Wakabayashi, a journalist from the Wall Street Journal; and freelance photographer Martin Hladik.

Open Show has also cooperated with the organizers of global photography event A Day (aday.org) and Canon to provide cameras to children in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. At the launch, the audience will be able to see their work as well as being able to participate in a conversation with the children via Skype.

The Tokyo Open Show launch event takes place at The Saravah Tokyo, located at the Crossroads Building (B1) at 1-29-1 Shoto, Shibuya-ku, on May 15 (7 p.m. start). Admission is ¥1,000. For more information, visit www.openshow.org/tokyo or e-mail ostokyo03@gmail.com.