Located in the newly built Tokyo Midtown, Fujifilm Square hosts a Photo History museum, a mini gallery and two photography exhibition spaces. Admission to the museum and exhibitions are all free-of-charge! Please be aware that photography is not allowed. For the same reason, this article will not have pictures showing the inside of the galleries and the museum.
The Photo History museum is filled with vintage cameras that Fujifilm has manufactured since the beginning. You can also try your hand at some old machines, such as the Fujifilm Kinora, a flipbook viewer. The user turns a handle on the right, moving a circular wheel of pages. The first “animation” was viewed that way. It was also interesting to know that attempts to create 3D image started out in 1840s, when the stereoscope was invented. There are many other interesting trivia and facts you can discover at the Fujifilm Photo History Museum.
The Photo History Museum is now featuring the works of photographer Ihei Kimura right now until December 27, 2013 called “Two Journeys of Ihei Kimura – the Ryukyu Islands and the Akita Region”. Let the photographs taken on Ihei Kimura’s first photographic trips to the Ryukyu Island and the Akita region take you back to the 1930s, rural Japan.
Placing Fujifilm cameras on the market right now at a little booth next to the Photo History Museum somehow creates a sense of continuity. From cameras invented 150 years ago, to film cameras, to digital cameras, to DSLRs, technology is still ongoing today to improve the quality of capturing and retaining images. You can have a go at the Fujifilm cameras on the market right now and also purchase a Fujifilm camera, if you like.
At a small machine called the CM Corner, you could browse and watch vintage commercials made a hundred years ago promoting Fujifilm cameras.
On the same floor, after you’re done with the Photo History Museum, wonder over to the Photo Salon, which comprises of a mini gallery and two exhibition spaces. The mini gallery holds exhibitions planned by Fujifilm. On my trip, it featured photographs of cats and dogs with the most creative captions. Walking through that gallery overloaded with cuteness definitely made me chuckle to myself a few times.
The two Photo Spaces next to the mini gallery features different photographers every week. Last week, Space 1 featured the photographer Masami Goto series of photographs taken in Hokkaido’s Akan National Park entitled “Akan and Mashu: Marks of the Forest and Water”. Goto’s photographs conveyed a sense of peace and brought out the gorgeous beauty of Hokkaido. Space 2 featured Ritsuko Naito’s works in an exhibition called “Horse, Horse, Horse”. Naito’s works of the horses were simply stunning and she is especially adept at capturing the graceful movement of horses. The personification of the horses using short captions also enhanced the imagination when looking at the pictures.
A plus for photography lovers is the array of activities that Fujifilm has in store related to photography. At the table located near the restroom, you can get brochures of photography contests, talks or simply pretty postcards. As for me, a wildlife photography talk piqued my interest and since it is free admission, I signed up at the counter without hesitation. Even though it is in Japanese, visual appreciation goes beyond language ability, so I went ahead anyway.
For the week of 25th October – 1st November, the Fujifilm Tokyo Salon features the photo exhibitions “Right now 17th Amateras Exhibition—Sun, Moon, Sky, Sea, Earth” and “Hokkaido Wildlife Photo Contest Winners Exhibition”. No matter when you decide to go to Fujifilm Square, there’s sure to be something interesting on display that is also wallet-friendly!