Resist is a photography school, but not in any traditional sense; it’s pedagogy of a style you might expect from its two founders, renowned photographers Moriyama Daido and Yoshinaga Masayuki. It began in 2005 as an idea tossed between them. Yoshinaga had taken on some university teaching stints, but the opportunities were gradually dwindling. When Yoshinaga asked Moriyama if he had any leads, Moriyama replied, “It’s a waste for you to be teaching like this. Why don’t you run some workshops?” After some thought, they went to Fuji Film in 2006 and the talks went smoothly. Fuji agreed to provide some film for participants and also help out with securing gallery space if necessary.

Then, as now, they recruited young pupils for the program mainly through distributing flyers, but also through the occasional magazine article. Yoshinaga also worked tirelessly to get the word out and eventually more places started offering support. One person who stepped forward was Shinohara Toshiyuki, who had just started a gallery, in addition to his framing business. He came on board to provide logistical support and is still with the program today.

Resist has had about 80 students since its launch—20 for each of the four sessions. Despite the newness of the program, the format has not changed. Over the span of 12 classes, about 7 or 8 veteran photographers visit to give their views on photography to the students. Says Yoshinaga, “It’s not about right or wrong, per se. Whether you are talking about how to actually take pictures, your approach or the presentation, it’s all completely individual—photographers each run their own show. When I was emerging as a photographer, I went around showing my book to everyone and the opinions were all different. Through those relationships, they ceased being ‘my’ photographs. It’s because I’ve been taking photographs for so, so long, that I’ve become who I am. So many people have shared their opinions, but if I had corrected this a little and that a little I would have ceased to be who I am. That’s what I want to impart to the students and that’s why I call in so many guest lecturers, all of whom I know.”

But as T.S. Eliot famously said, “Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act, falls the shadows.” What are the students actually experiencing in the program? We asked two of them.

“I had originally considered participating in a different workshop but then read about Resist on the homepage,” says Hanzawa Misaki, a student and promoter for Resist this session. “It just seemed completely new so I gave it a go. I’ve learned so much but if I had to choose what has left the biggest impression on me, it’s not anything related to technique. Rather, it’s that I started asserting myself more. While I was exposed to the evaluative methods of all the lecturers, I became a curator of my own work and gradually began to establish a sense of self. That fruition, of course, is out of reach, but I do feel as if I’m moving in the right direction. I had never experienced that ‘process,’ so to speak, until now. I’ve only had one perspective and only the question of what to do with myself within the context of that perspective. This difference is what makes it all so fun.”

Another student, Iwata Eiji, says, “I picked up the flyer at a gallery in Ochanomizu and saw that Yoshinaga, Moriyama and some other high-profile photographers were participating. The phrase, ‘This is not about learning technique,’ really caught my eye. As Hanzawa said, different people with different opinions come in, but if there is any kind of common thread, it’s that you just have to keep going. As artists like Aida Makoto and photographers like Tsuchida Hiromi have said, no matter how much shit people give you, you have to have your own initiative and keep going. I guess that’s what I’ve learned: that you just have to do it and that regardless of what anyone says, you have to push on. That’s how I want to pursue my photography.”

More concretely, how are the classes actually run? Students introduce themselves and talk about what they’ve been working on. Works go on a big screen and there is a question and answer session. Perhaps all art starts as imitation that anyone can do, but when the artists start trying to produce original work, a kind of grounding in something is important. Resist is a place that tries to provide that grounding. According to Yoshinaga, “That grounding can be experience or where you were born—it comes from that. So teachers talk about their experiences and what they were thinking when they were doing something.” Students then have the opportunity to ask questions. There is nobody to tell them what to take, or what is correct.

Still, there has to be a sense of falling short in order for there to be the initiative to grow. Do the students ever feel disappointment or failure? “All the time,” says Hanzawa, “like when I show my work to the teachers and even when I show my work to my friends. But you just have to accept those feelings. You have to think, how can I keep going? Finding the motivation to keep going can be really trying at times.” Iwata adds, “Toward the middle of the session, I just wasn’t satisfied with my work. I hadn’t put enough of myself into it and so I asked Moriyama for some guidance on what I should do. Not really knowing what kind of pictures I wanted to take, while I’m in the middle of taking a class, was really frustrating. In the end, I realized that traveling back to my hometown of Kobe might be best. I decided to make several trips to shoot.”

Yoshinaga agrees that in order for photographers to find a style, they have to commit to a theme. They need that discipline. If students are just taking pictures of things they like, they’ll never really know themselves. They’re just shooting snaps. For a while, they have to ‘resist’ that and focus. Art comes eventually.

「resist写真塾」は写真の学校だ。しかしながら、いわゆる伝統的なスタイルの授業は行っていない。創立者の二人が著名な写真家、森山大道と吉永マサユキだと聞けば、そのことは容易に想 像できるだろう。2005年、吉永にはいくつかの大学で特別講義の講師をする機会があり、その経験が自分自身の写真制作活動にプラスに作用しているのではないかと感じた。そのことを森山に話すうちに、現在 のresistにつながるアイディアが生まれていった。その後、富士フィルム社のサポートを得られることとなり、フィルムの支給や授業のための会議室提供など、作品制作のための支援を受けている。

ワークショップの受講生は、チラシを配ったり雑誌へ記事を掲載したりして集めてきた。それは 今でも変わらない。やがて吉永の各方面への働きかけにより、協力、協賛などの申し出が得られた。さらなる前進に一役買ったのが、フォトギャラリー「Roonee」のオーナーの篠原だ。講師と受講生の調整役としてresistに参加することとなり、現在もワークショップに関わっている。


T.S.エリオットの「Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act, falls the shadow.」(発想と創造の間、衝動と行動の間に影が差すのだ)という有名な詩のように、受講生達は授業を受けながら実際に「影」を体験しているようだ。二人の受講生に話を聞いた。






〒106-0046 東京都港区元麻布3-12-3 B1F
Moto-Azabu Gallery
106-0046 Tokyo, Minato-ku
Moto-Azabu 3-12-3 (B1F)
TEL: 03-3796-5564
(会期のみ/only during exhibit)

6/14 – 6/26
11:00 – 20:00
(last day, until 5pm)
no holidays/ free entry

Opening Reception
6月14日, 19:00 – 21:00
参加無料 (free)

吉永マサユキ + 森山大道 + resist4期生
Yoshinaga Masayuki + Moriyama Daido + 4th Session Students
写真集「resist vol.04」会場にて発売!
Photo Album “Resist: vol. 4” on sale at the exhibit hall
定価 2,100円(税込)(2100 yen, tax included)
More info:

Share and Enjoy:     These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Propeller
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis

Comments are closed.