Dr. Kristian Häggblom
Dr. Kristian Häggblom’s curatorial interests are inspired by transdisciplinary art practices and new modes of documentary making. When Häggblom first moved to Japan in 1999 he co- founded/curated RoomSpace gallery with Warren Fithie on the second floor of a tiny Izakaya in Omoide Yokocho (known as “Piss Alley”) in Shinjuku, Tokyo. While studying in Tasmania he received an Exhibition Development Grant from CAST, Tasmania, to curate the Japanese Australian exhibition Paper Bridges which was part of Ten days on the Island festival in 2005. Häggblom has curated several large-scale cross-cultural exhibitions that have included the work of French photographer Mathieu Bernard-Reymond, Melbourne-based sound artist Philip Samartzis and Japanese artist group Chim↑Pom.
When Häggblom permanently relocated back to Australia he co-founded and was head curator of Wallflower Photomedia Gallery that was located in Mildura, Australia. The gallery was established to highlight and create further readings of photography within a regional context and showcase work otherwise not seen in Australia. The gallery aimed to present the work of artists using lens-based mediums from all over Australia, locally and from the world. WPG also aimed to initiate curated projects and run workshops, seminars and lectures. The gallery exhibited work from Japan, Finland, America, Canada, Italy, Mexico, England, Poland and Germany, in addition to showcasing work in obscure non-gallery locations such as a motel and prison. The physical gallery was discontinued at the end of 2015 when Häggblom moved to Melbourne and now functions as a facilitator of projects that include exhibitions, events, screenings, lectures and workshops. Through an ongoing partnership with Mildura Arts Centre recently WPG staged major solo exhibitions by Hoda Afshar and Warwick Baker.
Häggblom is the course convener of the Master of Art Photography postgraduate degree at the
Photography Studies College and continues his own practice.
Ken Nishikawa is a filmmaker, composer, radio presenter, radio/TV director and translator currently based in Tokyo, Japan. He worked for the BBC whilst living in London in the 90’s. Having moved to Tokyo just before the millennium, he further worked with most of major radio stations in Tokyo area. He was also a DJ of a popular weekly music programme on Alpha Station, a Kyoto-based terrestrial FM station, for 13 years. The first TV show he had directed, “Music Tide”, lasted for nearly 6 years and, at the time, it was the longest-running show on the station, BS-TBS. After finishing a feature documentary named “Matsuchiyo – Life of a Geisha”, Ken worked on an award-winning fiction “Ghostroads - a Japanese Rock’n’Roll Ghost Story” in 2017 as co-director, editor, sound-designer and translator for Japanese/English subtitles.
Project Manager / Content Producer
Sam Forsyth-Gray is a Melbourne based photographer, who has recently completed a Bachelor of Photography at Photography Studies College. His work is concerned with ideas of family, memory, and the human condition. Interested in the merging of fine art and documentary visual languages - often using archival images alongside his own images - the process is fluid and experimental. With a special interest in the application of found images within contemporary art practice, his work seeks to create new ways of both seeing and understanding these objects by dissecting and intersecting photographic surfaces, through collage and juxtaposition, and through his own photographic responses.
Project support / advisor
Daniel Boetker-Smith is an artist, lecturer, curator, writer based in Melbourne. He has been shortlisted for the Substation Art Prize (2013), the Bowness Photography Prize at the Monash Gallery of Art (2012), the Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography’s Documentary Photography Award (2011), and the Ulrick/Schubert Photography Prize (2009 & 2010). He currently coordinates the Bachelor of Photography course at Photography Studies College, Melbourne, and has lectured on photography for over ten years in the UK and Australia.
Boetker-Smith is also the Director of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive, a not-for- profit library of self-published and independent photobooks; he recently curated an exhibition of Australian documentary photography for the Obscura Photo Festival in Malaysia, and he was named on the jury for the Kassel Photobook Award in Germany, and has been a judge at numerous international and national photographic competitions. He is also a nominator for the Prix Pictet Prize in 2015.
Boetker-Smith regularly writes for national and international magazines, blogs, and websites. He was recently the curator of two large international photobook events for the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Boetker-Smith is founder of Photobook Melbourne - a new international photobook festival commencing in Feb 2015. He is currently completing his PhD on Documentary Photography and the Contemporary Photobook.
Project & Installation Manager
James Bugg is a 22 year old photographer based in Melbourne. Having recently completed a Bachelor of Photography majoring in documentary, he is interested in visual storytelling and pursuing new modes of documentary. His work revolves around people, place and circumstance, with current focus on Australian subculture.
Japanese Advisor / PGI
Sayaka Takahashi (born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan) is the director of PGI, the photo gallery in Tokyo. She studied under the photography critic Osamu Hiraki at Waseda University. In 1998, she participated in the Higashikawa International Photo Festival as a volunteer, and from this experience she developed an interest in curating, conservation and installation.
Between 2003 and 2010, she worked for the Higashikawa International Photo Festival as an assistant director. In 2010, she started her career as the director of PGI, and since then she has worked with many of the most celebrated postwar photographers – in particular Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Kikuji Kawada. She is interested in introducing Japanese photography to the world and on finding new talent, and is the one of the members of the board of directors of the Fine-Art Photography Association (FAPA) and a committee of the Daikanyama Photo Fair, an event organized by FAPA. She began working in the field of photography at PGI this year in its department of conservation, framing and installation.
Project support / Editor
Hannah Nikkelson is an artist based in Melbourne who completed at degree at Photography Studies College. Her work examines themes of stagnancy, unrest, and belonging; through her endless wanderings, she hopes to find answers to questions that don’t exist – a visual form of pataphysics. While ultimately considering herself a documentary photographer, her work is more a documentation of experience and existence rather than that of people and place. Deeply interested in literature and philosophy, her work attempts to interpret and mirror the pace and prose of classic novelists and discover new ways of translating narrative.
Project support / writer
Rohan Hutchinson is a photographic artist based in Melbourne. He holds a Diploma of New Media from Swinburne University and Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography) from La Trobe University. His primary research has been focused on Japanese architecture and design theories and he has participated in artist-in-residence programs in Japan and Canada. In addition to exhibiting, Hutchinson has published several artist books both printed locally and in Japan and has had books published by the Velvet Cell (2017) and Perimeter editions (2018). Hutchinson worked at Metropolis Books and the National Gallery of Victoria bookstore for a period over seven years and has been a Japanese photobook adviser and supplier to a selection of Australian bookstores. Hutchinson is currently owns and runs the online store I’m Home that specialises in a careful selection of books and handmade home wares direct from Japan