Japan is vibrant, colourful, successful, romantic, dangerous, exciting. Not the Japan you know? Japan uses a calendar based on the reigns of the emperors. The reign of the Emperor Hirohito was called the Showa era and lasted for the 65 years 1926-1989. Showa was everything Heisei is not: vibrant, colourful, successful, romantic, dangerous, exciting. Many in Japan look back on the Showa Era with great nostalgia. ”Showa 88” has taken the best part of a decade in its gestation. Imagine an alternative reality in which the Showa Era never ended.
Born in Tokyo, 1975. Graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University, Department of Photography in 1998. Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. His past solo exhibitions include “Macaroni Christian” (Konica Minolta Plaza Gallery, 1996), “Showa 88” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2011), “Showa 92” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015), “Showa 88-95” (KKAG, 2018), and “Showa 96” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2019). Usui has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including “San Marino International Photomeeting” in 1997, “In & Out” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, “A Vision of Japan” at Galleri Balder, Oslo. His main publications are “Macaroni Christian” (Bijutsu Shuppan, 2006), “Showa 88” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2011), “Showa 92” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015), “Showa 96” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2019), and “Photography? End?” (Magic Hour Edition, 2022). In 2015 he was responsible for the planning and cinematography of the movie “The 14th Dalai Lama”. Usui’s works are included in public collections such as Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Yamanashi, Tokyo Polytechnic University, and the Amana Collection, Tokyo.