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Mitch Weiss: Sister Cities

Exhibition and Gallery Reception – Sister Cities: Tokyo, New York, Kyoto, Boston
Observations by Mitch Weiss

Sister Cities is Mitch Weiss’ photographic comparative study of Boston + Kyoto and New York City + Tokyo. Viewed alongside one another in their respective pairings, these photographs show that cities separated by eleven time zones share surprising similarities. The exhibition runs from November 2 through December 4. 

In 2004, while attending Northeastern University in Boston, Mitch Weiss enrolled at the Kaji Aso Studio to study Japanese calligraphy and traditional tea ceremony. During his time there, he developed a heartfelt respect for and fascination with Japanese culture. Weiss brought these sentiments with him when he traveled to Japan in December of 2012 to capture an honest portrayal of the country’s philosophies and deep-rooted heritage. The resulting photographs formed the basis of Sister Cities, an ongoing series that is a photographic comparative study of cities that have formed a partnership. The series’ first subjects are Boston + Kyoto and New York City + Tokyo.

Geometrically informed by Weiss’ studies of Swiss design principles, this series builds upon the principles established by pioneers of street photography, including Strand, Erwitt, and Cartier-Bresson. Intentional composition, capturing often fleeting moments, has served to create candid images of these four cities that, standing alone, provide authentic perspectives of the humorous and occasionally ironic. From the universality of human bonding to the ways that people get around town, we have more in common than meets the eye at first glance.

The notion of creating diptychs to compare and communicate similarities between the US and Japan was inspired by Kyoto local guides and hosts who proudly shared that Kyoto is Boston’s official sister city. The Panasonic Lumix GX1 is a flexible platform that can be wielded as an additional appendage, allowing him to capture dynamic scenes that would otherwise have been lost to more obtrusive equipment.

Weiss was delighted to debut this series with attendees of Sister Cities International’s 57th Annual Conference in San Antonio on July 12th.

Mitch Weiss is a graduate of Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media and Design. Weiss is a fine art, travel, and portrait photographer. His artwork resides in permanent collections around the globe and he photographs regularly on commission for patrons, national advertising campaigns, and magazines. In 2008, Weiss co-founded and began serving as creative director for Humble Hues, an art and design consultancy servicing nonprofits.

Presented by: Gallery 360 and Northeastern Center for the Arts

Topics: Exhibition