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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Hiroshi Sugimoto

b. 1948, Japan

Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of the leading international artists of his generation. He is primarily known as a photographer, but more recently has also become an architect, interior designer and director of performance arts. After completing his studies at Saint Paul’s University, Tokyo, in 1970, Sugimoto traveled west and settled in Los Angeles. Since 1974, he has lived and worked in New York and Tokyo.

Sugimoto’s black and white photographs, produced since the 1970s, effectively blur the line between real and fictive. Taken up close, his photographs of dioramas are strikingly real, with their black and white tones softening the painted backdrop. Yet upon close inspection, a small detail, such as the awkward shape of a seal in Polar Bear (1976), can dismantle the carefully built illusion. Likewise, his ‘Seascape’ (1980–ongoing) series—in which the artist captured the horizon at different times of day and in different climates—is strangely quiet and surreal. In each photograph Sugimoto creates a hybrid world: one that blends the real and the imaginary.

Time is a fundamental aspect of Sugimoto’s photographs. His ‘Theatre’ series—initially conceived in 1976—features photographs of cinema halls taken with the camera shutter set to a long exposure. In the final image, the screen has become a rectangular slab of white light, something the viewer may find eerie or contemplative.

At the turn of the new century, Sugimoto’s fascination with the history of theatre brought him back to Japan where he collaborated with practitioners of traditional Japanese Noh theatre to establish a new tradition in the ancient art. Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki (2014) is a modern interpretation of traditional puppet theatre and gained immense critical acclaim while touring throughout Europe and the United States. In 2013, Sugimoto also directed Sambaso: Kami hisomi iki or Divine Dance, which was presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In recent years, Sugimoto has expanded his efforts in architecture, sculpture, interior design and even cultural advancement. He founded the Odawara Art Foundation in 2009—a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote Japanese culture with an international perspective. Sugimoto designed the building so it was versatile, with two Noh theatre stages for traditional as well as avantgarde performances. Similar to his recreations of traditional Japanese theatres, Sugimoto’s spatial works refer to his Japanese heritage.

Over his career, Sugimoto has exhibited in institutions across Japan, the United States and Europe. His work is housed in many collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Tate Gallery, London

Sugimoto also was the recipient of the 2001 Hasselblad Foundation International Award and of the 2014 Isamu Noguchi Award. In 2017 in Hong Kong, he was honoured at the Asia Society’s prestigious Asia Arts Awards for his contributions to contemporary art.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Past Presence 057, The Empire of Light II, René Magritte by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoPast Presence 057, The Empire of Light II, René Magritte, 2014 Gelatin silver print
149.2 x 119.4 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
Past Presence 001, Tall Figure III, Alberto Giacometti by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoPast Presence 001, Tall Figure III, Alberto Giacometti, 2013 Gelatin silver print
149.2 x 119.4 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
U.A. Playhouse, New York by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoU.A. Playhouse, New York, 1978 Gelatin silver print
119.4 x 149.2 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
The Alps by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoThe Alps, 1980 Gelatin silver print
119.4 x 210.8 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
English Channel, Etretat by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoEnglish Channel, Etretat, 1989 Gelatin silver print
42.2 x 54.3 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
Buckler Fern, March 6, 1839 or earlier by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoBuckler Fern, March 6, 1839 or earlier, 2008 Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
Lightning Fields 138 by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoLightning Fields 138, 2009 Gelatin silver print
58.4 x 47 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Past Presence at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Open Now
10 September–26 October 2019 Hiroshi Sugimoto Past Presence Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibtion, Darkroom at Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Closed
27 July–15 September 2018 Group Exhibtion Darkroom Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Selections at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Closed
28 June–24 August 2018 Group Exhibition Summer Selections Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Hiroshi Sugimoto Ocula Conversation Hiroshi Sugimoto Artist, Japan

Having embarked on his exploration of conceptual photography in the mid-1970s with Dioramas, a series in which he photographed displays in natural history museums, Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto is today best known for his black and white photographs of silent monochromatic seascapes and movie theatres where, with the exposure set to the duration...

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The Arts & Museum Summit, Hong Kong Ocula Report The Arts & Museum Summit, Hong Kong 28 Nov 2013 : Diana d'Arenberg for Ocula

It has a slew of new international galleries which have only in the last half a decade started making a presence in the city; it is now the world’s third largest secondary art market at auction; and earlier this year it had its first Art Basel HK art fair.  Last week Hong Kong also kicked off its first ever Arts and Museum Summit,...

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Alan Lo Ocula Conversation Alan Lo Chairman, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, Hong Kong

Active in promoting art and design in Hong Kong, Alan Lo is the Chairman of Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, sits on the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and was a member of Art HK’s advisory group.  Lo is also a co-founder and director of Hong Kong-based Press Room Group, owner and operator of various well-known restaurants and...

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Stephen Mccoubrey Ocula Conversation Stephen Mccoubrey Co-curator, UBS Art Collection, London

With an extraordinary collection of paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and video by some of the world’s major artists from 1960 onwards, UBS is recognized as having one of the most important corporate collections of contemporary art in the world.  Stephen McCoubrey has been co-curator of that collection since 1999 and is...

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In Related Press

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Preview Art Basel 2019 Related Press Preview Art Basel 2019 ARTnews : 7 June 2019

Art Basel 2019 opens to the public on Thursday, June 13, with two preview days, on June 11 and 12. Some 290 galleries from 34 countries will show work at the Swiss fair, which runs through June 16.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto retraces one of the earliest encounters between Japan and the West Related Press Hiroshi Sugimoto retraces one of the earliest encounters between Japan and the West Wallpaper* : 18 October 2017

There's always been something otherworldly in Hiroshi Sugimoto's photography. Whether it's the ethereal glow of his empty European theatres, the haunting spirituality suspended in Acts of God (2014), or the serenity of his seascapes - the interplay of shadow and light means much more to the photographer than the juxtaposition of contrasts and...

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In thrall to the silver screen, Hiroshi Sugimoto returns to theatres after over a decade Related Press In thrall to the silver screen, Hiroshi Sugimoto returns to theatres after over a decade Wallpaper* : 23 May 2017

Is it possible to watch a whole film in a single frame? 'Habitual self-interlocutor' Hiroshi Sugimoto has been attempting to distill cinema into a snapshot since the 1970s in a series of photographic experiments called 'Theaters'.

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The Veteran Photographer Making Stunning New Buildings Related Press The Veteran Photographer Making Stunning New Buildings The New York Times Style Magazine : 8 April 2017

Without warning, the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto begins to sing. Moments before, he had been guiding me through his minimalist penthouse loft in a verdant neighborhood of Tokyo, explaining in a voice barely louder than a whisper why white Japanese shikkui plaster is the most beautiful surface on which to view shadows. Then, in a soaring tenor,...

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In Video & Audio

In The Studio With Hiroshi Sugimoto Related Video & Audio In The Studio With Hiroshi Sugimoto American Suburb X : 22 February 2016

Directed by Meredith Danluck Music by John Fraser Carpenter.

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2 new artworks by Hiroshi Sugimoto have recently been added to Ocula. Sign up to be among the first to know when new works become available.

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