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FLANDRE 1996-1997

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Top Japanese photographer on the iPhone!
Naomi Kawakami has an outstanding reputation in Japan. Now you can enjoy his black-and-white Rolleiflex photos optimized for the iPhone 3G/3GS and second/third generation iPod touch, offering quality similar to that of an original print. For best results, view at the default brightness setting.

■FLANDRE 1996-1997

29 photos, most shared for the first time on this occasion. As with Kawakami's other work, the viewer starts with the knowledge that this is one of Japan's top photographers, and in each case is then encouraged to consider why this particular photographer is inviting you to look at this particular image. In these photographs of the region known in English as Flanders, what you see is definitely not what you get. The challenge is to reflect on photographic and cultural traditions, and what you know of Kawakami's own career. Can you decode these images?

Also available at the App Store: ITALY 1985-1990 (56 photos; paid app).

■Naomi Kawakami

Born Tokyo, 1955. BA, Photography, Nihon University. Studied under the pioneering news photographer Jun Miki. Kawakami is now one of Japan's top commercial portrait artists, the photographer of such cultural icons as Quentin Tarantino, John Lurie, Jim Jarmusch, Bryan Ferry, Charlie Watts, Philip Glass, David Bowie, Van Dyke Parks, Serge Gainsbourg, Michael Nyman, Julee Cruise, Sylvie Vartan and Vladimir Ashkenazy. The list goes on: outstanding artists such as Lee U-Fan, Yayoi Kusama and Nam June Paik; great Japanese musicians such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Midori and Ryu Goto. Ballet dancers, actors, manga artists, even former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. Kawakami has produced portraits of them all -- more than 300 celebrities altogether. Once when photographing a renowned Japanese psychiatrist he was told: "You take photos the way a psychoanalyst counsels."

■Message from the photographer

I spent some time from the end of 1996 through early 1997 in the Flanders region of northern Belgium. It was one of the coldest winters of the 20th century, with frosty scenery and frozen canals. Many of the people I met there seemed inured to hardship but determined to make the most of life. I spent a few days with a friend and his family who live in Antwerp, and many of the moments we spent together proved to be unforgettable. This is another of my personal journeys -- this time to the heart of Flanders.

■Original prints

Original prints made under the artist's supervision are available for all the photos in these special iPhone / iPod touch collections. Don't hesitate to contact us about purchasing any image to enjoy its full impact. For details, please see the information that comes with the application.