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NJP photographer Anne-Stine Johnsbråten’s documentary project Good Wife, Wise Mother – Women in Japan is being shown at the House of Photography in Oslo from March 5 to 29.

The many different roles played by Japanese women at home and at work in a time of transition between the traditional and the modern are the point of departure for the exhibition, which gives a voice to women of different ages. What is it like to be a woman in Japan today? What do they think about their freedom in a gender perspective? What does the future hold?

At first glance, Norwegian and Japanese women live fairly similar lives in modern-day society. However, behind the polished Japanese facade, the successful career woman has a myriad of facets.

This documentary project is divided into three segments. Portraits of 100 women are mounted side by side. All the women have responded to brief questionnaire interviews.

The second segment deals with routine situations in which women are key players. Johnsbråten has photographed the segregated carriages for women on the Metro, attended women’s wrestling events, and wandered the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Hiroshima.

In the final segment, the photographer shifts her focus to the everyday lives of individual women. Among others, we meet Manami, a go-go dancer, Mai, a student, and Kanako, mother of two, through series of photos and in video interviews presented as multi-media productions.

The exhibition has received support from the Fritt Ord Foundation, Arts Council Norway, the Scandinavia–Japan Sasakawa Foundation and Scandinavian Photo – Photo-video enthusiasts.

Where: The House of Photography is located at Rådhusgata 20 in Oslo
Exhibition dates: 5 March – 29 March 2015 – The exhibition is free of charge and open to the public
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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