CASE TOKYO is delighted to announce our upcoming exhibition of Nao Manabe’s Through the waves, to be held from April 20 until May 25.

Nao Manabe has spent more than ten years photographing people and their everyday lives on the Hawaiian islands. Manabe first visited Hawaii as an exchange student in her high-school days. Her series Through the waves is structured around the histories and locations of those on the islands whose roots extend both to Hawaii and Japan. In her photographs, she captures—unadulterated, with a unique, gentle touch—the glimpses she was allowed of people’s everyday selves, following many intimate encounters, welcomes and goodbyes.

The series has won the third Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography contest and is also available as a photobook published on occasion of the third Irie Taikichi Award in February 2019. The exhibition at CASE Tokyo is realized in collaboration with the Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City, which was host to the CASE exhibition In Print, Out of Print in December 2017. We invite you to witness the interlaced, intricate histories of Hawaii and its inhabitants, captured in Manabe’s thoughtful photographs.

“The islands of Hawaii, a place strongly present within myself, a place of many encounters, of time spent in the presence of those I met. As my days went by in the presence of people I met (by accident or fate?),the history of these islands and the reality of their topography came rushing towards me. I think the photographs I captured reflect the invaluable time—months, years, decades—of those who live and have lived here, within an ever-changing scenery.

The islands of Hawaii, still unresting today, containing all the time of those who lived their lives here.
People who took everything in, despite the palpable menace of the islands’s nature.
Looking back, I think in these ten years I have been allowed glimpses at this truth behind the people and the islands here.”
— Nao Manabe

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City.


Nao MANABE 真鍋奈央

Nao Manabe was born in Ikeda (Tokushima Prefecture) in 1987. She spent the final two years of high-school as an exchange student in New York and Hawaii before returning to Japan in 2006. Manabe studied photography at the Visual Arts College Osaka; following her graduation, she continued creating works for a year as part of the college’s research student program. In 2011, Manabe exhibited her series Malamalama as part of a group exhibition at Place M Gallery in Tokyo. In 2012, she was a finalist in the 1_WALL photography competition and held the solo exhibition Me wo akete, Yume wo miru (Open Your Eyes and Dream) at Guardian Garden in Tokyo. She currently works as a photography lecturer at the Visual Arts College Osaka. In 2018, Manabe won the 3rd Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography contest.


Case Tokyo
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