Kazuma Obara





»Essay/Book Review



About / CV

//Curriculum Vitae//

Kazuma Obara (Japan, 1985) is a photographer based in Japan. Focusing on hidden victims in society is a theme he explores in his projects. After the tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011, he resigned from his job in financial industry to begin documenting the disaster area where his best friend’s house was located, photographing from inside Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Obara was the first photographer to convey the story from inside the plant. His work in the disaster areas was published as the photobook Reset Beyond Fukushima, published by Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland in March 2012.


In 2014, he focused on victims of World War Two in Japan and his self published photobook Silent Histories was shortlisted for Paris Photo/Aperture Photo Book Award and was selected for TIME, Lens Culture, and Telegraph Best Photobook 2014. Silent Histories was also published by Editorial RM in 2015 as new edition. This edition was nominated various best book 2016 such as Arles Photobook Author Award, Kassel Best Photobook.


Continuing his pursuit of nuclear issues as a long term project, Obara was focusing on victims of Chernobyl nuclear accident. His project ‘Exposure’ which was attempted to reveal invisible victims of Chernobyl accident by using old Ukrainian film was selected for World Press Photo 2015 People category 1st prize and won Athens Photo Festival Portfolio review 2015. This work was also nominated Magnum Lens culture Award 2016. His series of picture in Chernobyl will be published as photo book from Editorial RM in 2017.


In 2015, he studied at London College of Communication Photojournalism and Documentary Photography MA course and got a master’s degree. He won Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award in 2017.


In 2016, he is selected one of the photographers to exhibit the work at Festival Photo Reporter in France and engaging new project about victims of nuclear testing at Bikini atoll.

A partner photographer of Swiss photo agency Keystone, his photographs appear in The Guardian, Courier international, ZEIT, El Mund, Le Point, BBC, NHK, IMA Magazine, Wired Japan.





Utunomiya University BA in Sociology of Transnational Relations (April 2006 – March 2009)
Days Japan Photojournalist School(May 2010 – October 2010)
London College of Communication(UAL) ,
MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photographer. (January 2015 – December 2015)

Photobook making workshop with Jan Rosseel, Reminders Photography Stronghold, Tokyo, Japan(2014)
Photobook making workshop with NICO BAUMGARTEN, Le Photobook Fest, Paris, France(2014)
Photobook Workshop with Teun van der Heijden, 10b Photography, Rome, Italy(2015)




Reset Beyond Fukushima (Lars muller publisher/Switzerland 2012)
Silent Histories -Supreme Court Edition (Self Published 2014)
Silent Histories (Editorial RM/Mexico 2015)
30 (Self Published 2016)
Exposure (Editorial RM/Mexico 2017)



//Other Publications(Newspaper/Magazine/TV)//

The guardian(UK) Le Point (France), Photography Monthly (UK), El Mundo (Spain), DIE ZEIT (Germany), Work (Switzerland) , Kultur (Switzerland) , Basler Zeitung (Switzerland), Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (Germany), CNN(US), SF (Switzerland), Planetopia (Germany), TF1 (France), ZDF (Germany), WIRED(Japan), IMA(Japna), Days Japan(Japan)



//Awards, Nominations, Best Photobook//

Photo-eye Best photobooks 2017 selected by Todd Hido
Magnum Graduates Photography Award, Winner
Hariban Award, Finalist
Nominated for Prix Pictet Japan Award

World Press Photo Award 2016, People, 1st Prize
Athens Photo Festival Portfolio Review2015, Winner
Nominated World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2016
Nominated for the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award 2016
Magnum Lens Culture Award 2016, Finalist
Nominated for Prix Pictet Award

<Silent Histories>
Nominated Arles Author Book Award
Nominated Kassel Photobook Festival Best Photobook 2015
Nominated Best Photobook of Photo Espana

<Silent Histories -Supreme Court Edition->
TIME Best Photobooks 2014
Shortlisted for Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards
Claxton Project -The fourteen photobook highlight of 2014
LensCulture Editor’s – 2014 Photobooks of the Year
Telegraph My favourite photo books of 2014 by Photo editor Cheryl Newman
Photo eye -Best books of 2014 by Colin pantall
Photo eye -Best Books 2014 by Manik Katyal
Nominated World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2014

Critical Mass 2013 Finalist




Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation/Japan (2016)
Festival Photoreporter/France(2016)
Ito Fundation For International Education Exchange/Japan (2015)



//Selected Solo Exhibitions//

The Train
Schwarzer Montag, Zurich, Switzerland(2016)

Silent Histories
Photofusion, London, UK(2016)

Beyond Fukushima
Hirosima Cultural Center, Hirosima, Japan (2013)
Osaka Human Rights Museum, Osaka, Japan Amagasaki city hall, Hyogo, Japan (2012)
Gallery Little House, Kyoto, Japan (2012)
Utsunomiya University, Tochigi, Japan (2012)
Asahi Newspaper Hall, Nagaoya, Japan (2012)
STANDARD BOOK STORE, Osaka, Japan (2012)
Delfonics Shibuya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2012)
Photo Gallery Sai, Osaka,Japan (2012)
Selected Group Exhibitions
Silent Histories(Book Exhibition)
Athen Photo Festival, Athen, Greece (2015)
Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France (2015)
Paris Photo, Paris, France (2014)
IMA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2014)
Rokko Photo Festival, Hyogo, Japan (2014)

Beyond Fukushima:
Centro de historias, Spain (2013)
Ayuntamiento de Mijas, Spain (2013)
Reyon city holl, Reyon, France (2013)
Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain (2013)
EU headquaters, Brussels, Belgium (2013)
Days Photojournalism Festival, Kyoto, Japan (2012)
Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France (2012)
ART ETAGE, Basel, Switzerland (2012)
Days Photojournalism Festival, Yokohama, Japan (2012)
Photo Gallery Sai, Osaka, Japan (2011)



//Gloup Exhibition, Festival//

Revela-T, Spain/ 2017
Festival Photoreporter, France/ 2016
La Gacilly Photo Festival, France/ 2016
Athens Photo Festival, Greece/ 2016
Tbilisi Photo Festival, Georgia/ 2016
World Press Photo, 2016




San Telmo Museoa, San Sebastian, Spain 2017
World Press Photo Exhibition in Singapore 2017
World Press Photo Award Days in Amsterdom
Presentation by winners
Panel Discussion, New ways of storytelling: What are the innovative approaches?
with Peter van Agtmael (Magnum Photos), Josh Haner (Senior editor for photo technology, The New York Times), Kazuma Obara, Daniella Zalcman Hosted by Monica Allende, 2016

Silent Histories
Photofusion with Peter Kennard (2016)
Wer-Haus, Barcelona (2016)
IC Visual Lab, Bristol, UK (2015)
Photobook Bristol, Bristol, UK (2015)