John Wells (Can Tamura, Ninjin Jyanai, John Tamura Wells) is an artist, filmmaker, and audiovisual anthropologist. Working primarily in Japan, Turkey, and Mongolia, he produces artworks and experimental documentary films that explore the intersection between ethnographic film making and video art. Research interests include social/cultural memory, vernacular photography and sensory ethnography.
Mediums include oil and acrylic paints, drawing and painting on found materials, analog and digital video, analog and digital photography, 16mm film, and various sound-producing electronics and found materials.
He recently completed research and film production 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 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, June 23 to July 13.
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
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
(Forthcoming) Contemporary Art Center Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, April 1 to 15, 2020.
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).