For those of us old enough to have been Japan fans in the early 1980s, the arrival of Riverside, a music and arts programme aimed at a more discerning audience, was a god-send. Suddenly we had a music show that actually focussed on bands we wanted to hear and see. I remember being astounded at seeing The Cure perform Siamese Twins live, whilst members of the Royal Ballet flung themselves all over the stage – utterly beguiling! Sadly, Japan never appeared live on the show, but the individual members were often featured – in fact Mick appeared a number of times – and this interview with Steve was recorded the day before his Expressions Exhibition at The Photographer’s Gallery opened.
The Expressions Exhibition featured 12 of Steve’s photographs and was heavily publicised in the music and arts press, both in the UK and Japan. Some 30 odd years later, Steve’s memory of which of his photos were on show is a little unclear but, fortunately for us, there are plenty of people who went to the exhibition and recorded these facts……(see ‘Exhibitions’ category for more photos and anecdotes)
This article from a Japanese magazine shows some of the pictures from the exhibition: in fact, these images were the ones used most frequently in the publicity at the time. Televisions and hotel rooms feature a lot in his photography at this time; a result of his peripatetic lifestyle, whilst touring for months with Japan and Ippu Do during 1982. The TVs are often placed in front of windows, and Steve was aiming to capture 2 views; the one on-screen and the one of the world outside.
Although this picture of a man in a rickshaw did not feature, it was used in the publicity for the exhibition and Steve explained it was also taken from a TV screen……
One review in the Made in USA fanzine listed the 12 titles and gave a brief description of each of the:
Faces of Riu – a shot of Ryuichi Sakamoto described as ” a blurred action shot”…..
Rie’s Song – see above
The Actor’s Audience – see above
View From The River – an old man, rather hilariously described as looking “evil, a bit like Davros”
Concerned with Etiquette – young girl from Bangkok with a “discerning look on her face”
Troubled Stone – eroded piece of stone with anthropomorphic qualities
Man From Bangkok – this image was used on the exhibition poster
Man From Pusan – see below
Journey By Instinct – old woman in a boat
The Floating Market – 2 children at the Bangkok floating market
There were also 2 prints of David Sylvian, taken from the Visions of China video shoot, his face looming out of a bank of television screens
Signed, limited edition prints of Steve’s photos are available to purchase via his imageshop here: