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Jonathan Jasberg
Jonathan Jasberg
Jonathan Jasberg

Jonathan Jasberg

Country: United States
Birth: 1977

I'm a full-time vagabond, traveling to visit and photograph locations that interest me from a cultural perspective. This has lead me to over 60 countries in the past 11 years, with my main focus on an in-depth exploration of Japan where I have made roughly 20 long visits to learn the culture and the language to a high level of proficiency. After spending the first 6 months of the coronavirus pandemic in Japan, I was forced to leave due to my visa running out, and on a whim I returned to Cairo, Egypt, a City I had briefly visited in 2018. Egypt and Japan are vastly different, but I find the same fascination with both locations and decided to start my 2nd long term project in Cairo, where I have now made 3 more lengthy visits in the last 2 years since I last left Japan.

Cairo: A Beautiful Thing Is Never Perfect
The project borrows its title from an ancient Egyptian proverb, and came about from a chance encounter with an older Egyptian man who stopped me and asked why I was photographing. At the time, I was overwhelmed by the scene in front of me and motioned to it stating 'just look at it, it's beautiful'. The older man looked, looked back at me and shook his head stating 'beautiful? it's an old mess' and he walked on. The project focuses on showing candid beautiful moments of daily life of a complex city that most tourists quickly skip over after a brief visit to the pyramids and museum, moments and scenes that are also easily overlooked by locals who have grown too familiar with their surroundings.
 

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Lee Jeffries
United Kingdom
Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, this artist starts to photograph sporting events. A chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changes his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay and go and discuss with the homeless girl. His perception of the homeless completely changes. They become the subject of his art. The models in his photographs are homeless people that he has met in Europe and in the United States: "Situations arose, and I made an effort to learn to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to do their portrait." From then onwards, his photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world. "If you will forgive my indulgence, This work is most definitely NOT photojournalism. Nor is it intended as portraiture. It's religious or spiritual iconography. It's powerful stuff. Jeffries gave these people something more than personal dignity. He gave them a light in their eyes that depicts transcendence, a glimmer of light at the gates of Eden, so to speak. The clarity in their eyes is awesome to behold as if God is somewhere in there. He has made these people into more than poor old broken homeless people lazily waiting for a handout from some urbane and thoughtful corporate agent. He infused them with light, not darkness. Even the blind guy has light pouring from his sightless eyes. I think Jeffries intended his art to honor these people, not pity them. He honors those people by giving their likenesses a greater meaning. He gives them a religious spiritual significance. He imbues them with the iconic soul of humanity. I think that's what he was trying to do, at least to some degree thereof."Source: www.yellowkorner.com Lee Jeffries leads a double life – as a full-time accountant near Manchester, and in his free time as an impassioned photographer of the homeless all over the world. A self-taught photographer who started out taking pictures of stock in a bike shop, his epiphany came in April 2008 when, on the eve of running the London Marathon, he snatched a long-lens image of a homeless girl huddling in a doorway, and felt compelled to apologize to her when she called him out for it. Their resulting conversation changed not only his approach to photography; it changed his life. Since that day Lee has been on a mission to raise awareness of – and funds for – the homeless. His work features street people from the UK, Europe, and the US whom he gets to know by living rough with them, the relationship between them enabling him to capture a searing intimacy and authenticity in his portraits. He has published two critically acclaimed fund-raising books, Lost Angels and Homeless, worked with the Salvation Army on a major campaign, and donated the half-dozen cameras he's won in prestigious imaging competitions to charity. He estimates he's given thousands of pounds of his own money to help those he photographs. All this, and he's still 'an amateur'. Source: Nikon In-Frame Read Our Exclusive Interview with Lee Jeffries
Michael Wolf
Germany/United States
1954 | † 2019
The focus of the German photographer Michael Wolf’s work is life in megacities. many of his projects document the architecture and the vernacular culture of metropolises. Wolf grew up in Canada, Europe, and the United States, studying at UC Berkeley and at the Folkwang School with Otto Steinert in Essen, Germany. He moved to Hong Kong in 1994 where he worked for 8 years as a contract photographer for Stern Magazine. Since 2001, Wolf has been focusing on his own projects, many of which have been published as books. Wolf’s work has been exhibited in numerous locations, including the Venice Bienniale for Architecture, Aperture Gallery, New York; Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tempere, Finland, the Museum for Work in Hamburg, Germany, Hong Kong Shenzhen Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. His work is held in many permanent collections, including the metropolitan museum of art in New York the Brooklyn Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, California; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany and the German Museum for Architecture, Frankfurt, Germany. He has won first prize in the World Press Photo Award competition on two occasions (2005 & 2010) and an honorable mention (2011) In 2010, Wolf was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet photography prize. He has published more than 13 photo books including Bottrop Ebel 1976 (Peperoni Press, 2012), Tokyo Compression Three (Peperoni Press / Asia One, 2012), Architecture of Density (Peperoni Press / Asia One, 2012), Hong Kong Corner Houses (Hong Kong University Press, 2011), Portraits (Superlabo, Japan, 2011), Tokyo Compression Revisited (Peperoni Press / Asia One, 2011), Real Fake Art (Peperoni Press / Asia One, 2011), FY (Peperoni Press, 2010), A Series of Unfortunate Events (Peperoni Press, 2010), Tokyo Compression (Peperoni Press / Asia One, 2010), Hong Kong Inside-Outside (Peperoni Press / Asia One, 2009), The Transparent City (Aperture, 2008) and Sitting in China (Steidl, 2002). Source: photomichaelwolf.com Michael Wolf’s work examines life in the layered urban landscape, addressing juxtapositions of public and private space, anonymity and individuality, history, and modern development. In a diverse array of photographic projects, from street views appropriated from Google Earth, to portraits capturing the crush of the Tokyo Subway, and dizzying architectural landscapes, Wolf explores the density of city life. Wolf currently lives and works in Hong Kong and Paris. His photographs are in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany; The Brooklyn Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kansas City; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago among others, and have been exhibited at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego (2011), Goethe Institute in Hong Kong (2010), Fotographie Museum, Amsterdam (2010), Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2008), Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2008), and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2008), among others. Wolf was awarded First Place in the 2010 World Press Photo Award contest in the Daily Life category, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Prix Pictet. Wolf's numerous monographs include Tokyo Compression Revisited (Peperoni Books, 2011), Real Fake Art (Peperoni Books, 2011), Tokyo Compression (Peperoni Books, 2010), Hong Kong: Inside/Outside (Peperoni Books, 2009), The Transparent City (Aperture and MoCP, 2008), Hong Kong: Front Door/Back Door, (Thames & Hudson, 2005), and Sitting in China (Steidl, 2002). Source: Robert Koch Gallery Michael Wolf was born in 1954 in Munich, Germany. He grew up in the United States, Europe, and Canada, and studied at UC Berkeley and at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany. In 1994, Wolf moved to Hong Kong and worked for eight years as a contract photographer for Stern magazine, until he left to pursue his own projects. Wolf's photographic work in Asia focuses on the city and its architectural structures and follows on from his interest in people and human interaction. He has published seven photobooks to date. Wolf's work has been exhibited extensively in galleries and art fairs throughout the world since 2005 and is held in permanent collections across the US and Germany. Wolf has won previously won a World Press Photo award, the first prize in Contemporary Issues stories in 2005. Source: World Press Photo
Baron Raimund von Stillfried
Austria
1832 | † 1911
Baron Raimund von Stillfried, also known as Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Rathenitz (6 August 1839, in Komotau – 12 August 1911, in Vienna), was an Austrian photographer. He was son of Baron (Freiherr) August Wilhelm Stillfried von Rathenitz (d. 1806) and Countess Maria Anna Johanna Theresia Walburge Clam-Martinitz (1802–1874). After leaving his military career, Stillfried moved to Yokohama, Japan and opened a photographic studio called Stillfried & Co. which operated until 1875. In 1875, Stillfried formed a partnership with Hermann Andersen and the studio was renamed, Stillfried & Andersen (also known as the Japan Photographic Association). This studio operated until 1885. In 1877, Stillfried & Andersen bought the studio and stock of Felice Beato. In the late 1870s, Stillfried visited and photographed in Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Greece. In addition to his own photographic endeavours, Stillfried trained many Japanese photographers. In 1886, Stillfried sold the majority of his stock to his protégé, the Japanese photographer Kusakabe Kimbei, he then left Japan. He left Japan forever in 1881. After travelling to Vladivostock, Hong Kong and Bangkok, he eventually settled in Vienna in 1883. He also received an Imperial and Royal Warrant of Appointment as photographer.Source: Wikipedia To many in the West, Japan is an exotic country, seen through the distorting lens of tourist cliches: cherry blossoms, geisha, samurai, kamikaze. In that sense, little has changed since the Meiji Era (1868-1912), when Japan was first promoted abroad as a sort of Oriental theme park. Baron Raimund von Stillfried, a 19th-century pioneer of photography in Yokohama, was the first in Japan to recognize the new medium's potential as a global marketing tool. Adept at producing theatrical souvenir photos, Stillfried also took the first ever photograph of Emperor Meiji and shocked Vienna when he imported Japanese teenage girls to the city to work in a mock teahouse. A Career of Japan by Luke Gartlan, a lecturer in art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, is the first comprehensive study of Stillfried's extraordinary life and works. Written for an academic readership using the language of critical theory, Gartlan's account of a scandal-prone impresario resonates with contemporary parallels. Baron Raimund Anton Alois Maria von Stillfried-Ratenicz was born in Austria in 1839 and spent his childhood in military outposts on the fringes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1864, aged 24, he chose life as a cabin boy in a ship headed for Peru instead of an aristocratic military career. By 1868, after a couple of years adventuring in Mexico, fighting a doomed campaign for the Habsburg Emperor, he had set up a photography studio in Yokohama. The rough and ready port town was hosting its first "globetrotters," a word coined locally to describe the new wave of round-the-world tourists, propelled by the 1869 opening of the Trans-American railway and the Suez Canal. One German globetrotter, Margaretha Weppner, recorded her impressions the same year: "The foreigner in Japan leads an expensive, luxurious life. (The climate) requires that liquors should be taken before breakfast, wine, beer, and champagne at breakfast; the same routine before, at, and after dinner, and brandy and soda all day long." In Yokohama, tourism brought a new demand for "curious" and souvenir photos. Baron Raimund von Stillfried specialized in staged studio portraits featuring models decked out as traditional Japanese "types." These striking hand-colored images were widely copied in Western newspapers and became emblematic of Japan. In the same way that the foreign press today fixates on "weird Japan" stories, Stillfried's images, Gartlan argues, were a popular fiction that exploited Western ignorance. Take, for example, Two Officers - used on the cover of A Career of Japan - that purports to show two samurai with their hair in topknots. The photograph was taken in 1875, four years after the traditional hairstyle worn by Japan's warrior class was banned. It was as a paparazzo that Stillfried first achieved notoriety. Hearing that Emperor Meiji was to visit Yokosuka on New Year's Day in 1872 - the first public appearance by a Japanese monarch - Stillfried was determined to take his picture. According to contemporary accounts, he hid on a ship docked next to the Imperial landing area and secretly photographed the divine countenance through a hole in a sail. Government officials reacted with fury when Stillfried brazenly advertised his scoop, ordering a police raid on his studio. Today, only one print survives. Stillfried was threatened with deportation, and the ensuing scandal reverberated around Asia. Shanghai's North China Daily News said that the crack down was "the most foolish thing we have heard of the Japanese." Partly in order to trump Stillfried, the government commissioned an official portrait of the Emperor the same month. Kuichi Uchida's image of "H.I.M. The Mikado" in Western dress was the state's first foray into visual PR. The Meiji regime may have disapproved of Stillfried, but they admired his talents as a propagandist, and hired him six months later to photograph the newly-colonized territory of Ezo (present-day Hokkaido). Stillfried's photos of the Ainu people were displayed at the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition. Referring to a group Ainu portrait, the Japan Gazette of Jan. 23, 1873, said: "The gift of beauty - has not been vouchsafed to the female descendants of Yesso (Ezo) - whose primitive ugliness of feature is artificially increased by moustachios [sic] tattooed along the upper lip." A separate image of two of the same figures was hand-colored by Stillfried. Gartlan notes that "the selective addition of colors emphasizes the women's tattoos, a traditional practice soon to be banned by the Japanese government." Stillfried's Hokkaido photos may have been displayed in the Japanese pavilion in Vienna but the man himself was barred from joining the official delegation to his home country, due to the lingering scandal over his photo of the Emperor. He reacted with typical bravado by erecting an imitation Japanese teahouse in the exhibition grounds, staffed by teenage Japanese girls imported from Yokohama. The press reacted with thrilled prudence. "How innocent the term (teahouse) sounds to us, but what amount of shame it entails in Japan!" the official exhibition journal reported, while the Chicago Daily Tribune referred to the "Yokohama Belles" as "by no means virgins." Gartlan argues that the teahouse was a respectable project, but the scandal was enough to close it down, leaving Stillfried almost bankrupt. One employee later alleged that the photographer beat his workers, evicted the girls at gunpoint and tried to have the teahouse burned down in order to claim insurance. Returning to Yokohama in 1874, Stillfried's career faltered amid growing competition from Japanese photographers whom he had personally trained, and who were happier to portray their country as a modern nation. His final return to Viennese high society in 1883 coincided with the peak of the European craze for Japan-inspired art - culminating in "The Mikado" and "Madame Butterfly" - that his souvenir photographs had helped to create 15 years earlier. Stillfried's heavily romanticized images had, in Gartlan's words, a "vast impact on how the West perceived Japan at the time." His legacy can still be seen today. Western fantasies of Japan continue to draw on anachronistic assumptions about the country - from ornamental women to picturesque teahouses - and equally inaccurate images of a "futuristic" nation (one where fax machines have no place). Modern-day parallels can also be seen in the book's depiction of Stillfried's expat experiences: the battles with bureaucracy, the government propaganda, the conflicted approach to foreigners - and the drinking.Source: Japan Times
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