Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present its 10th anniversary exhibition from September 18th to October 19th. Specializing in Japanese and Chinese Photography, Zen Foto Gallery was established on September 18, 2009 in Tokyo by Mark Pearson. The gallery moved from Shibuya to the current location in Roppongi in February, 2011. In the past 10 years, the gallery has organized 163 exhibitions presenting works by 80 different artists and published over 130 photobooks to accompany the exhibitions as a way to archive the exhibited works. In commemoration of its 10th anniversary, Zen Foto Gallery will present an exhibition featuring all the books it has published by far in chronological order. This will be a rare opportunity to look into all the artists the gallery has collaborated with, and to reflect on the development of Zen Foto’s publications in the past 10 years in a comprehensive perspective.
“Underlying the various reasons for starting the gallery was a feeling that I needed to do more. Beyond having a nice family and a career, there was an inchoate sense that I should try to make a difference to society in a positive way. My financial career remained a fascinating intellectual challenge, but if prosperity had had a diminishing marginal contribution to my personal happiness, I thought this also likely to apply to society in general. I agreed with the sentiments of JS Mill and Keynes that greater material prosperity should allow us to improve the quality of life. Zen Foto Gallery became a way for me to play a small part in rebalancing towards a better quality of life, for myself and for others.
We began Zen Foto Gallery in 2009, with a touch of idealism, with no experience, plenty of naivety and ignorance, but enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. There was goodwill from many friends, fellow gallery owners and the keenness of many photographers to show their work. Amanda Lo was also an inexperienced new graduate. We started the gallery together and she was the stalwart for much of the decade. Neither of us were Japanese. Inevitably we would make mistake after mistake. With so many disadvantages we have no right to be here 10 years later. We did not set out to be publishers. This was an afterthought. Wanting to leave a record of work after the exhibitions, we made simple catalogues of work that would not otherwise be available in printed form. Ten years later there are 130 publications under the Zen Foto Gallery imprint. We aim to show them all in this 10-year exhibition.”