Gallery Recreates a Little Tokyo Photo Studio of the 1940s.
Founded by photographer, KINSO NINOMIYA in the 1920s, the Ninomiya Photograph Studio in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles was a thriving, family-run operation during the 1940s and 1950s. With the onset of World War II and the anti-Japanese sentiment in California, Ninomiya, his wife and children, were sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona.
The studio was shuttered and soon disappeared. Upon Ninomiya’s return after the war the business was restarted and managed to stay in business until the late 1980s.
In 2010, BOB TANABEE, a building contractor clearing an apartment building for renovation, stumbled upon a treasure trove. Forty years of materials from the old Ninomiya studio that had been languishing and was about to be incinerated. Unsure what to do, but cognizant of the value of these photos, Tanabee posted an ad on Craigslist asking any interested parties to take the collection. Local assistant director/cameraman, MICHAEL RISNER was intrigued by the ad and ended up picking up about a half of the discovery which included approximately 100,000 negatives that were stuffed into garbage bags, ready for the incinerator.
It took time and a lot of hard work, but the value of the collection was recognized and has since found a home as part of the CSU Dominguez Hills Japanese American collections.
THE PERFECT EXPOSURE GALLERY have acquired and will put on display original hand colored prints and other highly valuable artifacts from the Ninomiya studio. They have authentically recreated the feel of the studio from days gone by. It is truly a trip back in time,” says Perfect Exposure Gallery owner, Armando Arorizo. “You get a real sense and a feel for Little Tokyo in 1940s and 1950s as you visit this exhibit.”
As an added bonus Arorizo is offering a free portrait sitting for visitors 80 of age or older, to be taken with Ninomiya’s original large format camera.
This is an exhibit that should not be missed.
When: December 9, 10, 2017 – 11am – 4pm
Where: The Perfect Exposure Gallery, 1125 Crenshaw Blv, Los Angeles, CA 90019