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Masahiro Oishi Photo Exhibition Cultural Travel Story in Central Europe through Photos of Steam Locomotives

The cold war between the east and the west ended 30 years ago and, in the aftermath, the mindset that divided the world into opposing camps has gradually withered away and little by little the term “Central Europe” become part of the everyday vernacular. While there are several countries in Central Europe that share far-reaching relations with Japan, there are still many cultural facets and landscapes that the people in Japan know little or nothing about - steam locomotives being one example.

Steam locomotives like those in these photos are so often used as subject matter in Japan that it is a genre unto itself known as toritetsu. Perhaps because of the differences in the landscape, culture and character, you do not see this fanatical use of the camera in Central Europe. But, I invite you to see from the minute details that led to each photograph just how interesting and completely different the culture and landscape of Central Europe’s railways are from that of Japan, e.g., the differences in the locomotives themselves, the overly human expressions of the engineers, the surprising way the locomotives are exhibited and more. I have portrayed 6 countries, such as Poland, Czech Republic and Austria in Central Europe through the steam locomotives that continue to run there and the keywords “engineers, night and steam”. I hope that you will find them as charming as I have.

Masahiro Oishi Profile

Born in 1984. Lives in Metropolitan Tokyo.
Grew up in an environment surrounded by trains from an early age. Learned the basics of photography in his student years from his father, who was a food photographer, and began taking pictures mostly of airplanes. Has won several awards at photo contests sponsored by professional journals. Currently produces series and articles for magazines, etc.

Enrolled in Toho Gakuen Music High School and the Toho Gakuen College Music Department where graduating from the Music Department. Continued his studies in Czech where completing The Prague conservatory of music. In 2014, while in Czech, was accepted into the Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association (APA), in which he remains a regular member today. As for his performing activities, has pursued piano duos and achieved excellent results at competitions across Japan. Parallel to this, has been involved in event planning and had his creative ideas chosen amongst other solicited proposals on numerous occasions.

In 2016, released his debut CD “B. Smetana : Má Vlast - for piano four hands, arranged by composer” in Japan to great reviews by recording art magazines and others, which spurred new activities introducing the culture and art of Central Europe through photography and music.
In October 2019, released his second CD “A. Dvořák : Symphonies Nos.7, 8 & 9 - for piano four hands, arranged by composer” in Japan to similar reviews to his debut CD.