Tomohiro Harada

Tomohiro Harada

Founder and producer of Tokyo Photo


Originally published on on August 2009

Tomohiro Harada

Tomohiro Harada

Where are you from?
I grew up in Tokyo but spent a few years in Taiwan during my childhood.

Have you ever lived overseas?
After high school, I moved to Illinois for university and lived and worked in Chicago for ten years. I miss the Windy City… Despite the bleak, cold winters, there’s something very special about that city.

How did you become interested in photography?
First of all, I love art in general. I would visit museums and galleries and sometimes purchase art works for myself. I started organizing art-related events and parties about three or four years ago. After a trial-and-error period, I decided I wanted to become an art promoter and went about establishing my own business. That was when I discovered fine art photography. I simply fell in love with the enigmatic beauty and power of certain photographic images, and my interest grew rapidly. After that, much of what was happening in contemporary painting started to feel a bit dull and too personal for my tastes.

After visiting numerous galleries and museums, reading lots of books on photography, and studying thousands of photographic images, my eyes have grown sharper. I’m confident now that I can detect a great work of photographic art when I see one.

Tell us about Tokyo Photo.
I came up with the idea after witnessing the huge success of art fairs devoted to photography in Europe, America and other parts of Asia. Although there are many galleries dedicated to photography in Tokyo, up until now there was no single event that could pull the entire art photography community together. I’m hoping Tokyo Photo will change all that. It will be the first Japanese art fair devoted exclusively to fine art photography. Top Japanese galleries will come together to present and sell works by acclaimed and emerging artists.

At the three-day event, we will also present “Photo America,” a special exhibition mounted by the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, showcasing important historical photos that have never before been seen in Japan. Also participating are top galleries from New York and LA, presenting and selling works by such artists as Annie Leibovitz, Chuck Close and Andrew Bush, to name but a few of the heavyweights. I don’t think there will be another opportunity to see and purchase such amazing works of photography at one location in Japan anytime soon.

Bellesalle Roppongi, Sep 4-6. See listings (forums & expos) for details.