From the Yokohama Seasider Magazine, January 2010

In 1862, a painter named Shimo’oka Renjo (下岡蓮杖) made history by setting up one of the first photography studios in Japan. He chose Noge as his location. Yokohama is making history again with a particularly exciting event for anyone interested in photography. This month, Dark Room International (DRI) in Noge kicks off the first Yokohama Photo Festival.

The festival will celebrate and examine photography as an art and a part of society. The event will mostly take place in the Red Brick Warehouse No 1 and at the Noge Hana Hana space, where DRI is also located.

The festival is comprised of several different events. Perhaps the most exciting one for photographers will be the “Open Portfolio Review”. Renowned photographers such as Hosoe Eikoh (the chairman of the review), gallery curators, editors, and other experts will be critiquing portfolios of amateur photographers (previously selected on a first-come, first-serve basis). The portfolio review will be open for public viewing on 1/17. Also, an exhibition and slideshow from previous portfolio reviews in Japan and several other countries will be on display from 1/13-1/17.

The “Noge Photo Village Workshop” will be a discussion with local citizens and photographers, and will include renowned guests like Herbie Yamaguchi. The discussion will be focused on what photography can do for the community as a whole. At “Photographic Conversations,” 20 respected photographers will each take 25 minutes to discuss their work and their ideas about photography.

This event is a great chance to find inspiration in the work of others. Visitors can rub shoulders and intellectually spar with some well-respected artists. For more specific information regarding venues, times, additional events, and the growing list of special guests, please consult the bilingual (Japanese/English) website at

In the following pages, we introduce the biographies and work of three of the festival participants. Hosoe Eikoh will chair the portfolio review committee, Herbie Yamaguchi will be conducting one of the Noge photo-village workshops, and Susan Burnstine’s work will appear in the slideshow screenings.





このキックオフイベントは他人の作品から何かヒントを得るのに最高のイベントになることでしょう。著名な写真家たちを含めたさまざまなアーティストたちと交流し、議論をしたりする絶好の機会です。各イベントの開催場所、時間、スペシャルゲスト、などについての詳細はバイリンガル(日本語、英語)のウェブサイト まで。


portrait (c) Jean-Baptiste Huynh

Hosoe Eikoh

Hosoe Eikoh (1933), one of Japan’s most recognized photographers, works tirelessly to support photography appreciation in the general public, especially among youth. He has been the director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts since its opening in 1995, and is the chairman of the portfolio review at this festival. His well-known works include iconic images of the novelist Mishima Yukio, a series of haunting photographs of avant-garde dancer Hijikata Tatsumi, and the book “The Butterfly Dream,” which honors legendary Butoh dancer Ohno Kazuo.



portrait of Herbie: Ry Beville

Herbie Yamaguchi

Herbie Yamaguchi (1950~) eschewed the life of a salary man and instead traveled to London with a camera in his youth. As fate would have it, he squatted in an apartment room beside the not-yet-famous Boy George and met many punk and new-wave musicians of the time, such as Joe Strummer of the Clash. His circle spread and he was eventually photographing artists like Steve Winwood, Jimi Hendrix and U2. In the decades since returning to Japan, Herbie has extensively photographed some of Japan’s brightest pop and rock icons. His other photography features a quieter side of suburban life, with scenes of people in neighborhoods like Tokyo’s Daikanyama. Herbie is always visible at his exhibitions, surrounded by admirers with whom he freely shares stories, advice and encouragement.

(An English interview with Herbie appeared in the Mar/April 2009 edition of Koe Magazine:



Susan Burnstine

Susan Burnstine is an award-winning fine art and commercial photographer originally from Chicago now based in Los Angeles. Susan is represented in galleries across the United States, widely published throughout the world and has also written for several photography magazines, including a monthly column for Black and White Photography Magazine (UK). She was nominated for the 2009 Santa Fe Prize for Photography and is the winner of various awards, including B&W Magazine’s 2008 Portfolio Spotlight Award.