Between 1981 and 1983, Japanese photographer Seiichi Furuya, based in Graz, took photographs at the Austrian border towards the former Eastern block nations. In contrast to the media attention devoted to the inner German border and the division of Berlin, Furuya was searching for images in the inconspicuous and at times even idyllic border territories to Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia. His associations of places and stories form a valuable historical document, shaped by the interplay between the private and the political, between personal view and documentary distance. On occasion of his solo show at the Heidelberger Kunstverein in 2014 this work will be published—30 years after its creation—in the form of a book.
Published by Spector Books. Text by Manfred Wiemer.
Seiichi Furuya’s Dresden photographs from 1984/85 are a most unlikely document — a view of daily life in the latter days of the GDR recorded by a Japanese photographer, who had been a major player in the photography scene in Austria since the beginning of the 1980s. Furuya came to Dresden as an interpreter for a Japanese construction company. His pictures are private — a young family in an intimate setting, their deep-seated anxieties and moments of happiness — and it is more in passing that he records everyday life and society. His view from the outside, a stranger’s way of seeing things, has no equivalent in the art photography of the GDR. In 2015 an exhibition project brought Furuya back to Dresden, where he took a series of new pictures: photographs of familiar places, onto which capitalist life has now inscribed itself, thirty years on, and of the Pegida demonstrations that have completely transformed the image of the city.