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OS 2_Kenji Chiga Invitational Exhibition
Kenji Chiga Invitational Exhibition
The global online exhibition platform D Emptyspace hosts “OS”: Japan-born artist “Kenji Chiga Invitational Exhibition” from January 25 to February 25, 2021. This event is held at D Emptyspace’s online exhibition showroom for a total of 23 works at two exhibition halls. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Korea Arts Management Services to help vitalize and enhance the competitive edge of Korea’s online exhibition platform industry.

The exhibition is an ongoing project based on the research by the Japanese photographer Kenji Chiga on the phone call fraud. The exhibition title, “OS” is a shortened word for Oreore Scam, a widespread form of the phone call swindle in Japan. The photographer attempts to stimulate the imagination of the audience by using the initial “OS.”

The scam is a form of crime that appeared in the 1980s. Before the Internet did not develop, criminals usually cheated people via letters. However, with the widespread of the Internet, a variety of fraud methods, including email, malignant codes, and hackings, were used and many victims were made around the world. In Japan, in particular, the number of phone call scam crimes skyrocketed against old people who have difficulties reacting actively. Worse, criminals would not stop at anything to blackmail money. They would even commit murder to achieve their goal, adding social anxiety. Traditionally, Japanese people would not open social accidents or problems about their family to the public. Criminals abuse the tendency for their purpose and recruit and organize crime members via social networks.

Kenji Chiga is approaching social issues and crimes like a documentary and creating new images at the same time by breaking up and transforming the existing images in an experimental manner. As scammers destruct evidence of their information and victims that are the target of their criminal activities, the photographer is dissolving and modifying the image of criminals and victims to make new ones. In particular, Chiga is adopting a unique method to transform images: manual documents and water-soluble papers that criminals used, are fused with images in the water, creating new types of images as time goes by.

The audience recognizes and defines objects of photos through visual experiences. Kenji Chiga removes visual preferences toward the objects and lets the audience experience new interpretations of artworks via deformed, vague images. Such manufacturing method looks like that of criminals and victims who want to hide their identities. Ironically, however, the photographer’s works look beautiful and charming because social criticism is included, like human beings’ desire to conceal essential issues. Chiga is not consuming images. Rather, based on this ironic interpretation, he is researching essence and encouraging the audience to participate in social issues in an active manner.

Organized by Demptyspace
Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism 
and Korea Arts Management Services

About Kenji Chiga
Born in Shiga in 1982. Graduated from the Engineering Science, Osaka University.
After graduation, moved to Tokyo as an assistant to a fashion photographer.
He has produced documentaries based mainly on research, and has been described by Kotaro Iizawa as a standard-bearer of new photojournalism. His hand-made photo books have been highly acclaimed overseas.
He was awarded the Grand Prix at the 16th Photo "1_wall", The Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award Arles Shortlist at the Arles International Photography Festival, and the Best Emerging Photographer Award at the Dali International Photography Festival.
Some of his works have been purchased by Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts as their permanent collection.


Email: chigakenji@mac.com 
Web: http://www.chigakenji.com
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