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The photographs in Cotton Rose were taken in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan. Hanzlová strongly resisted the long tradition of Japan travel journals showing a foreign and exotic Japan. She was aided in this by her own history of having left her village in the former Czech Republic for political reasons in 1983. The experience of having been a foreigner herself enabled her to step beyond cultural differences to make an intimate portrayal of a people and their own sense of home. Hanzlovás photographic voice has always been a muted and gentle mirror of her sympathetic approach, and in Japan she found a people and a landscape which perfectly suited her language. Jitka Hanzlová, born 1958 in the Czech Republic, moved to Germany in 1982. Between 1987 and 1994 she studied visual communication at University Essen, specializing in photography. She has been awarded several photography awards, including the BMW Paris Photo Prize 2007. Venues for solo exhibitions of her work have included the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Kicken Gallery, Berlin and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.