Japanese photographer's work at CSU

Columbus State University’s Department of Art from Oct. 31 to Dec. 7 will present dual exhibitions: “Places and Smiles” by Japanese photographer Toshie Saito and “Preview, Department of Art Collection,” in the Illges Gallery in downtown Columbus.

A free, opening reception in the gallery is set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.

“Places and Smiles” features 17 black and white photographs from the1950-60 mid-Showa Era of economic growth and prosperity in Japan. “These captivating and beautiful photographs reflect Saito’s memory of that time period, as well as her interest in modernization,” said CSU Gallery Director Hannah Israel.

A self-taught photographer, Saito was born 1939 in Kiryu-Gunma. At age 12, she started taking photographs and learning from her father, who was the leader of a local photography club. After college, she worked as a journalist in Tokyo.

When she got married, her father suggested that she open a small camera shop, which she did to be able to get back into photography. While running the shop, Saito continued to show her work and has exhibited extensively throughout Japan. “Her work has captured the world of ordinary lives of people, the optimism of youth, the innocence of children and the landscape of Kiryu-Gunma,” said Israel. “Today at 68, she is photographing the same places that she captured in the 1950s to show how much has changed.”