At the time of the Dordtse Matsuri at the end of August, there was in the same building a photo exhibition of Intermezzo Japan, a group of four photographers, consisting of Conny van Rijn, Karin Vlugter, Jet Vugts and Martin van Thiel, who together went to Japan in May 2019 with the aim of returning with a series of photos taken in Japan. With them they took all their photos that they had made in the Netherlands to show in Japan.
The space in the Energiehuis, the location of the Dordtse Matsuri, was decorated with elements of traditional Japan, including kimono and calligraphy in combination with the photographs they took in The Netherlands and Japan. The photos made in Japan can also be viewed in a special photo book, which can be flipped through, provided that you have put on white gloves to protect the book. In order of the various seasons, in order of the birthdays of the photographers, each was born in a different season, a selection of large-format photographs could be viewed.
The photographers have an eye for detail and colour, as seen for example in the photographs of Conny van Rijn, who is attracted by movement and reflection, so that it ensures that there are multiple layers in the photographs and makes it more playful. Jet Vugts’ photographs give the feeling that we are looking at paintings, this was particularly evident in the photographs that are titled Impressions. The themes of nature and portraits are well represented in the photographs of Intermezzo Japan. But the photos that can be seen in the photo exhibition are not necessarily the fixed photos that you will see in travel guides. The photos are approached in a slighty different way and contain peace and spontaneity. It sounds like a contradictory combination, but ensures that the photos create a balance.
How we, people who did not grow up in Japan, look at Japan is very different from how the Japanese look at their country. And that’s what makes it so interesting, since with Intermezzo Japan we can see through the eyes of four different photographers who take pictures of their surroundings in their own way. The four photographers of Intermezzo Japan knew very well how to capture the atmosphere in the photos, so you will always recognise that the place was made in Japan. However, I would like to give a warning: looking at these photos can cause a desire to travel (back) to the Land of the Rising Sun.
In 2020 these four photographers will be allowed to exhibit their photo collection in the Kyoto Museum of Photography and in a photo museum in Nara. A great honour for the Dutch photographers. In The Netherlands they have had the opportunity to exhibit at the Japan Market in Leiden, Galerie Kapper in Utrecht and Kunstcafé Fort Vuren in Vuren, among others. On the website of Intermezzo Japan you can find out where they will exhibit more in the future.