(Nina Poppe) (Ama)

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Berlin: Kehrer Verlag,1st edition,2011,Hardcover,Ltd of 800,In English and Japanese.

Condition: Good,Shelfwear,One faint bumped corner on back cover.

Everyone in Japan knows them as "Ama-San," a title that conveys a great deal of affection and admiration – and yet, even in the big cities, hardly anyone is aware of what these courageous and independent women of the seas are actually capable of. At an average age of 60, they make their living by hunting abalone, a delicacy prized particularly in East Asia. The ama look like mature mermaids who, instead of enjoying their golden years in leisure, continue to dive regularly as far as 20 meters down into the depths. Since time immemorial, the image of man as hunter has been the epitome of masculinity. Which makes it all the more amusing that, based on the experience that men become chilled in the water faster, the hunt for abalone has traditionally been a womans domain in Japan.
In her book ama, the Cologne photographer Nina Poppe (*1979) spirits us away to a place where women lead a very special life and there is apparently no room for men. Nina Poppe studied photography first at the Utrecht School of the Arts and, from 2005, at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne with Boris Becker. The ama series was exhibited at Art Cologne in 2011. Review "Poppe deploys a deceptively simple style wherein the colour tones are muted but evocative and the essence of the ama way of life is in the observed, often low-key details: sandals sitting neatly on a wooden jetty; a pair of outsized pants hanging on a washing line outside a tin shed; exhausted women emerging from the sea in ill-fitting wet suits and large goggles. Poppes beautifully produced book may turn out to be an elegy for a singular way of life that has endured for centuries." Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian, 28.12.2011