Can Tamura (a.k.a. John Wells, John Tamura Wells, Ninjin Jyanai) is an artist, filmmaker, and audiovisual anthropologist. He works with digital and analog video, digital and analog photography, 16mm film, oil and acrylic painting, and drawing on found materials. Research interests include social/cultural memory, vernacular photography, sensory ethnography, and the relationships between contemporary art and anthropology. His research and production takes place primarily in Japan, Mongolia, and Turkey.
Currently he is conducting research and making films in relation to the kiriko matsuri in Okinami, Anamizu-cho, Noto Peninsula.
See also: japandocumentary.com
1988-1993 B.A. in Communications at Antioch College. Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA.
2016-2019 Currently a candidate for M.A. in Visual Anthropology, Media and Documentary Practices at the University of Münster, Germany. Thesis title: “Kiriko Matsuri of Noto, Japan: The Outsider’s Body As a Resource for Maintaining Local Rituals” supervised by Christopher Wright.
(Forthcoming) Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, March 1 to 20.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, March 1 to 31, with the cooperation of the Contemporary Art Center (Кон Арт Тѳв) and the Mongolian Theatre Museum in the Palace of Culture.
Film screenings and presentations
(Forthcoming) Okinami, film screening at Cinema & Kurbelkiste Münster, Münster, Germany, January 29, 2020.
With MURAKAMI Satoshi, Living Migration Busan – Kanazawa, film screening at IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) 2019 Inter-Congress “World Solidarities,” Poznan, Poland, August 27 to 31, 2019.
Shoveling Ishikawa, film screening and lecture in connection with im/pulse: Vincent Moon, contact Gonzo, and the Anthro-film Laboratory, Kyoto City University of Art Gallery @KCUA, Kyoto, June 20, 2018.
Natural Disaster Relief in Joso, Japan: Observational Film Documentation of Volunteers in Post-Flood Clean-Up, film presentation at Displacements: The 2018 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, April 19, 2018.
Selected Solo Art Exhibitions
The Supper Gaze, Gallery Muku, Kanazawa, October 13 to 18, 2017.
Electric Yen Zone, Gallery Muku, Kanazawa, June 3 to 8, 2016.
In Flight Art/Landing, Cafe Foodelica, Kyoto, October 9 to 25, 2015.
Ninjin Jyanai, Gallery Muku, Kanazawa, February 6 to 11, 2015.
Ninjin Jyanai, Cafe Foodelica, Kyoto, February 14 to March 16, 2014.
Zen Art Machine, Jam Sake Bar, Kyoto, July 6 to August 31, 2013.
Ninjin Jyanai, Jam Sake Bar, Kyoto, August 19 to November 10, 2012.
Nostalgia For Nationalist Squid and Other Tales, Mongolian Theater Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, March, 2002.
Selected Group Art Exhibitions
Fotografika 6: Emotion, SoHo Art Gallery, Osaka, September 10 to 15, 2013.
White Heat, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery Yokohama, April 1999 (with Wanted Artists Group).