top コラムExhibition ReportVol.25 Takahiro Mizushima "Memoirs of Huandao" 水島貴大「環島回憶錄」

Exhibition Report

Vol.25 Takahiro Mizushima "Memoirs of Huandao"

John Sypal

A brilliant cacophony of color and memories- Takahiro Mizushima’s show Memoirs of Huandao is a bewilderingly vibrant exhibition of recent photographs taken in Taiwan. 


A fellow member of Totem Pole Photo Gallery, in 2020 Mizushima moved to Taiwan  where the term Huandao (環島) in his title is used to refer to traveling ‘around the island’- something he did a lot of before returning to Japan in 2023. 


Stepping into the gallery you enter his world- an onslaught- of texture and color. 

“Life” is the theme, yet try as you might, there is no real hierarchy to be found. There’s an equal vibrancy to everything. Both the presentation and image selection are the result of whims and instinct and, both in spirit and physicality, is gloriously all over the place. It is a rollicking celebration of what’s revealed to be a personal, multi-dimensional memory-map of Taiwan. 


Single-handedly transforming Totem Pole into a photographic wonderland, Mizushima taped hundreds of prints of various sizes to the walls while haphazardly placing larger pictures on boards along the floor or on shelves. Amongst it all are a few handmade books, stacks of prints, and grids of his photos (printed on clear acetate) glowing on top of a set of light boxes. 

He’s even got an eleven-minute photograph slideshow on an old CRT TV that’s hooked up to a PS2 for its DVD function.  (The CRT isn’t there for “90’s Vibes”- it and the Playstation were simply all he had at home.) 


While his exhibition methods are unbridled, Mizushima’s method for taking photographs remains quite simple. He shoots everything on Kodak color negative film with a Canon EOS-1V SLR, a basic 35mm f2 AF lens, and a flash. In addition, he has two things which all good photographers need but can’t be bought or learned: genuine curiosity and charm. 

More on that in a second.


As you can imagine, the impact of this show as a whole is impressive. But the individual photos that it is comprised of are each worthy of contemplation. They’re wonderful. They might seem simple at first- but upon closer inspection their “simplicity” (or “snapshot-nature”) fades to reveal hints and improbabilities that leave you scratching your head. See, his work is all about encounters. Indeed, he tells me that 99% of the people in his images are strangers he randomly met and asked to photograph at that moment. 


The Huandao-ring of Mizushima’s Taiwan is populated by individuals- there are plenty of sweaty children, tank-topped elders, scooters, groups of students, stray dogs, cats, birds, girls with watermelon, grinning taxi drivers, and even a young couple with a leash. (“They were smoking on the street when I met them” Mizushima recalls.)  His curiosity and innate charm- a sly mixture of confidence and humor- works photographic wonders.  Everyone pictured possesses a sense of pride and dignity. Indeed, the way they present themselves expresses both their own individuality and the nature of the man behind the camera. 


Mizushima knows that photography is strongest as a recording device. The world and the people in it are already enough. In photography or life, everyone and everything’s already there, waiting. You just need to know where to look.  


Fortunately for Mizushima, it all happens to be along the path he’s already traveling. 



水島貴大 写真展「環島回憶錄」は、近年台湾で撮影された写真による、戸惑うほど鮮やかな展覧会です。精力的な色彩のメロディー。










また、ソニーのゲーム機「プレイステーション2(PS2)」のDVD機能に接続されている古いブラウン管テレビには11分間の写真のスライドショーが映し出されていました。1990年代を想起させる("90's Vibes")ためではなく、単に「家にあったのがブラウン管テレビとPS2だったから」と言っていました。


展示方法を見ると奔放に感じるかもしれませんが、水島さんの撮影方法はいたってシンプル。カメラはキヤノンの一眼レフEOS-1Vと35mm F2のAFレンズ、そしてストロボ。コダックのカラーネガフィルムですべて撮影しています。



















PCT Members

PCT Membersは、Photo & Culture, Tokyoのウェブ会員制度です。

特典1「Photo & Culture, Tokyo」最新の更新情報や、ニュースなどをお届けメールマガジンのお届け
今後もさらに充実したサービスを拡充予定! PCT Membersに登録する