As we’ve already seen photobooks and exhibitions dedicated to images of women wearing knee-high socks underwater and a calendar that simulates flipping up a skirt, it should come as no surprise that there is a photo exhibition dedicated to “panchira” (the Japanese term for “panty-shot“) opening in Tokyo next month.
Panchira 2015 is a photo exhibition scheduled to run from February 9 until 15 at Photons Art Gallery located in Asakusabashi district of Tokyo. Cosplayer/models Lewo Saito and namada are responsible for coordinating the event that boldly proclaims, “The universe is inside of a skirt” (Sukaato no naka wa, Uchuu de aru). Works contributed by photographers, models and artists will be displayed at the event with the only requirements being that it adheres to the theme of “panchira” and is no bigger than an A2-sized sheet of paper (420mm x 594mm or 16.5″ x 23.4″). In addition to Lewo Saito and namada, CG director Ryo Asakura, photographer/designer Moira Kuchikaseya, and cosplayer/aspiring law student nonomy are among the participants that have pledged to contribute works to the exhibition.
While the word “panchira” tends to have connotations of lewd images, the organizers are aiming to make the exhibit as wholesome as possible. This may seem like an impossible task to non-Japanese, especially when seeing signs at train stations warning of people with hidden cameras, but at the same time, that iconic image of Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate in The Seven Year Itch has been regarded as one of the greatest moments in film history in the west, so it’s important to recognize the distinction between art and a few creepy dudes on the train. There is no doubt that images highly sexual in nature exist but does that mean that all images of “panchira” should be considered shameful and erotic?
Perhaps it’s because we are told that we should not look that makes us want to look? Well, if you happen to be in Japan this February, why not take some time to come and see an exhibition that you probably can’t catch anywhere else?
February 9, 2015 (Sunday) – February 15, 2015 (Sunday)
Hours: 12:00pm – 7:00pm (last day ends at 5:00pm)
Photons Art Gallery Asakusabashi 1-24-11, Taito-ku, Tokyo 1-4F