Pressrelease | Amsterdam, 28 March, 2012
Foam 3h: Nina Poppe - Ama
11 May - 26 june 2012
Photographer Nina Poppe (Germany, 1979) has spent a
significant and intensive amount of time together with the Ama.
These legendary fisherwomen of the Japanese island of Ise-Shima
dive for Abalone, using no equipment, in water that is up
to 30 metres deep. Abalone is a type of sea snail that is
considered a delicacy and that commands high prices. The diving is
dangerous and tiring, yet the divers often continue to practise
their trade into old age.
Within this centuries-old tradition a big shift is
occurring; more and more young women choose life in the cities
instead of diving. The abalone are becoming scarcer too, due to the
water temperature rising as a result of climate change. In
contrast to earlier photo reportages about the Ama that
concentrated on the diving itself, Poppe's work emphasises the
community of the Ama, which is principally run by
Nina Poppe photographed the life of the Ama both in the water
and on the island. Her images reveal the social context in which
these women live. At times, the images seem slightly alien: the
women, clad in black wetsuits, large gloves and a white scarf
wrapped around their heads, sometimes seem to have stepped out of
another world. Poppe's photographs are characterized by a clear
composition and a soft colour palette in which the blue of the sea
and the sky is a recurring theme. Besides the photos by Poppe, the
exhibition will also include films that contributed to the myths
surrounding the Ama - many thought that the women, who in earlier
times dove without masks and wearing just loincloths, were
searching for pearls.
Nina Poppe was born in 1979 in Münster, Germany. She earned a
bachelor's degree in photography from the Utrecht School of the
Arts (2003) and a degree in film and photography at the Academy of
Media Arts in Cologne (2011). She participated in a number of
exhibitions in museums including the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zürich
(2007), the Goethe Instituut, Rotterdam (2008) and
Kunstverein Leverkusen, Leverkusen (2012). Poppe has produced two
films; Sunrise Dacapo (2008) and Stichtdag
(2009). In 2010, Kehrer Verlag published her book Ama,
which is available for purchase at Foam.
This exhibition has been made possible by Van Bijlevelt
Stichting and the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund.
Ama by Nina Poppe can be seen
from 11 may to 26 june 2012 at Foam. Open daily 10 am - 6 pm,
Thurs/Fri 10 am - 9 pm. Tickets: € 8,50
Note to editors: For information and visual material please
contact the communications department, e-mail foam[at]foam.org or
phone +31 (0)20 5516500.
Foam is sponsored by the BankGiroLoterij, De Brauw Blackstone
Westbroek, Delta Lloyd and the VandenEnde Foundation.
1017 DS Amsterdam
phone: + 31 (0)20