Osamu Kanemura|Can I Help Me?

Dates|February 2 – 26, 2023
Venue|MEM map
Hours|13:00 – 19:00
The gallery is closed on Mondays.


Osamu Kanemura is known for his solid photographs of urban and back-alley landscapes crowded with electric wires, billboards, and buildings. But in recent years, he has also dedicated his time to the exhibition of drawings, collages, and videos. This exhibition will feature a video installation and collages of newspaper and magazine clippings. On the weekends, we will host a screening of Kanemura’s new video works.

MEM is an affiliated local gallery of 2023 Yebizo Meets, and this exhibition will be held in collaboration with the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023.


Screening of new video works

Dates: February 4th (Saturday), 11th (Saturday), 18th (Saturday) and 25th (Saturday)
Time: First Screening (15:00 – 16:00), Second Screening (17:00 – 18:00)
Venue: MEM
Entrance Fee: ¥1500
Capacity: 5 people per screening, reservation required.

Video works featured in screening:
1.     Are You Sequenced? (18:10 | 2023)
2.     Material Boutique (15:51 | 2020)
3.     Aseptic Room Service (11:45 | 2019)

Special screening of past works and Artist Talk

Dates: February 12th (Sunday) and 19th (Sunday)
Time: ① 14:00 – 16:00 / ② 17:00-19:00
Venue: MEM
Entrance Fee: ¥2500
Capacity: 5 people per screening, reservation required.

Video works featured in screening:
1.     Elvis the Positive Thinking Pelvis(9:43 / 2014)
2.     Life is a Gift(17:7 / 2016)
3.     Animals(25:35 / 2017)
4.     Shrimp Cocktail-president(14:20 / 2018)
5.     Are You Sequenced? (18:10 | 2023)
6.     Material Boutique (15:51 | 2020)
7.     Aseptic Room Service (11:45 | 2019)



Image and meaning are jettisoned due to the ever-increasing speed of our visual culture, which is rendered into a mere silhouette, leaving behind only the sense of acceleration. Nullifying the distance between the superficial layer of the image and its meaning, that speed transcends some critical visual threshold and emerges as acceleration in and of itself. It seems that acceleration will kill the image. Mark Bolon was driving his purple Mini Cooper in the suburbs of London when he crashed into a tree and died. The last thing he saw through the windshield of his car was the spectacle of a tree utterly devoid of distance as he was sucked into the overwhelming centripetal force of a black hole. That tree and that black hole are irrevocably linked. Perhaps the moving image is like the disastrous car crash of Mark Bolan, a direct connection between subject and object, a collision of two worlds stripped of visual recognition. The ever-increasing speed of our visual culture erases distinctions between here and there which trigger a cascade, eliminating the concepts of space and time so that there is no future and no past. In his last moments, as he was being sucked into that fatal tree, for Mark Bolan, there was only the here and the present. There was no sense of time there. And likewise, there is only the here and the present for the medium of the moving image. Its acceleration threatens to collapse the distance between here and there and short-circuit the relationship between past and present. Suppose this acceleration eliminates the distance between the present and the past, reducing everything to the present. In that case, the past will no longer exist in the moving image and will most likely be impossible to salvage. Just like that spectacle of that fatal tree seen through the windshield of the accelerating car, space, the past, time, and everything will disappear into that black hole.

Kanemura Osamu

Biography of Artist

Kanemura was born in Tokyo in 1964. He is based in Tokyo and has photographed urban landscapes in black and white since 1992. He has had more than 20 domestic and international solo exhibitions in places such as Tokyo and New York City. His works have been shown in various group exhibitions, including New Japanese Photography (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, 1996); Absolute Landscape: Contemporary Photography between Illusion and Reality (Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan, 1997); Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Aries (Aries, France, 2004); Cities, Architecture and Society (Corderie dell’Arsenale, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2006); and DECODE/Events & Materials, The Work of Art in the Age of Post-Industrial Society (The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan, 2019).

Spider’s Strategy, published in 2002, is widely regarded as his most significant photobook. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and other public institutions and private collections.

Kanemura received the Newcomer’s Award of the Photographic Society of Japan, the New Photographer Award of the 13th Higashikawa International Photography Festival in 1997, and the Ken Domon Award in 2000.

Concurrent Exhibitions of Kanemura Osamu

IG Photo Gallery Exhibition – MOVING IMAGES
Dates: February 7th (Tuesday) – February 22nd (Wednesday)
Venue: IG Photo Gallery (Higashi-Ginza)