For all its appeal, photography may appear to be an impersonal and rather creative medium. Yet, using techniques developed over time, you can achieve a more organic, unique style in your photographs, as Hiroshi Sugimoto has done in his photography works.
Hiroshi Sugimoto is a Japanese photographer and architect who is the director of New Material Research Laboratory, a Tokyo-based architectural business. He was born on February 23, 1948 in Tokyo, Japan.
He reportedly took his first photographs in high school, capturing Audrey Hepburn film footage as it screened in a movie theater.
Sugimoto began studying politics and sociology at Rikky University in Tokyo in 1970. He pursued new training in the arts and earned a BA in fine arts at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 1974. Sugimoto then made New York City his home. He soon began to work in Soho as a dealer in Japanese antiquities.
Hiroshi is heavily influenced by the Dadaist and Surrealist movements in general, as well as Marcel Duchamp's writings and works. Additionally, he has demonstrated a keen interest in late twentieth-century modern architecture.
Among Sugimoto's most notable works, black-and-white photographs of theaters, landscapes, and the sea investigate photography’s capacity to model time. His bold color fields and abstract, chromogenic prints blur the line between painting and photography, immediately distinguishing his work from other photographers.
For a medium with such immediate impact, it is only natural that many photographers would direct their work to depict the physical world through the lens. However, Sugimoto is able to capture his subjects in moments when they aren't even paying attention. His works evoke curiosity and wonder as his viewers uncover what has been captured within his images.
Moreover, what helps make Sugimoto's work fascinating is its multilayered nature, one that reveals something new each time you begin to understand what his work is all about and how he has used light and shadow to bring this work to life.
Sugimoto has achieved a type of acclaim reserved for very few contemporary artists by attaining major solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and elsewhere in Europe and Asia. The status of these bodies of work is testament to his remarkable ability to produce a distinctly unconventional art form within the context of photography.
His work is replete with formal rigor, but always infused with an air of mystery. He has photographed everything from tsunami-struck homes in Japan to abandoned gas stations. Many of his photographs are devoid of people and are constituted for the most part by mere traces and vestiges. Despite their austere compositions, they suggest narratives worthy of our attention.
Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of the few most influential photographers of all time. His work has been exhibited in museums and collected by celebrities, but he remains both widely respected and a critical influence on other photographers.
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