Now in Bhutan, the unemployment rate is high and the number of young people with a sense of unease about
their future is rapidly increasing. Hip-hop is prevalent among such young people. In Bhutan; a conservative
Buddhist country, there is not much tolerance of new cultures. However, they are seeking an expression of their
existence through Hip-hop in the midst of fundamental dissatisfaction with society.
I worked for three years as a lower secondary school teacher in Bhutan and at the time I thought about the students' future.
Until I went to Bhutan, the only impression I had was that is was "a country of happiness". In reality there were not only
warm hearted people but also an uneasy feeling about the future. I saw people living through the difficulties of life.
I, myself was one who, like them, felt anxiety and irritation. While taking pictures, I began to understand how Bhutan's
Hip-hoppers were trying to find hope from the darkness. I sympathized deeply with those thoughts.
"GOKAB" is the Bhutanese word for “chance”.
“We’ve got talent and passion, but no chance to show it. We just want a chance”.
Looking for an existence through Hip-hop and trying to grasp the little opportunities they have resonates with how
I try to grab a deeper message through my photography. This work is a story of hope, woven through the graffiti drawn
by the subjects through the picture that I have taken.
#005 PHOTO Playground
Duration: February 1 (Fri), 2019 - March 3 (Sun)
*Certain works are only on display until February 27 (Wed)
Time: 10:00 - 20:00
Venue GL / Ground Level, B1 / Basement 1 - B3 / Basement 3[Park Map]
Curation: IMA Project / amana.inc
Kensaku Seki / 「GOKAB」（2018）
The Kingdom of Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas is a small country well known for pioneering the concept of Gross National Happiness and preserving its unique culture. Albeit its fairy-tale scenery, it has a wide range of social issues like rising youth unemployment. This may come as a surprise, but recent years have seen a burgeoning hip hop culture among the dissatisfied Bhutanese youth. In society that is both politically conservative and a Buddhist, they are pursuing their dreams of better future through dancing and rapping despite being frowned upon with distain. Kensaku Seki stayed in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, and shot an-eighteen-year-old man, Kunzan and his friends, who, in turn, painted the graffiti on the images. Representing their fears and hopes, the photographs are displayed to look like pictures and words left upon the walls of public restrooms.
#005 PHOTO Playground
- 写真と出会う、写真と遊ぶ -
フォトアート雑誌IMA 2019 Spring Vol.27
IMA 2019 Spring Vol.27
I posted my work on 8 pages with photo art magazine IMA Vol.27.
IMA MAGAZINE is an art photography magazine that seeks to answer a variety of questions regarding photography and has been published ﬁfteen since 2012.
Since I started photography IMA is a yearning magazine,
To be posted was one goal for me.
The work covered Bhutan's HIPHOP scene "GOKAB".
Thank you very much to everyone at IMA Editorial Department.
I also thank the members of the hiphop group Druk Generation of Bhutan who is the subject.