HomePage Artists

b. 1948, Japan

Hiroshi Sugimoto Biography

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.

Read More

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

Hiroshi Sugimoto Featured Artworks

View All (21)
Brooklyn Bridge by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoBrooklyn Bridge, 2001Gelatin silver print
149.2 x 119.4 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Opticks 018 by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoOpticks 018, 2018Digital c-print
119.4 x 119.4 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery
Staircase at Villa Farnese II, Caprarola by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoStaircase at Villa Farnese II, Caprarola, 2016Gelatin silver print
149.2 x 119.4 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery
Temple of Dendera by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoTemple of DenderaGelatin silver print
182.2 x 154.6 x 7.6 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Opticks 005 by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoOpticks 005, 2018Digital c-print
119.4 x 119.4 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Alaskan Wolves by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoAlaskan Wolves, 1994Silver gelatin print mounted to Dibond
119.4 x 210.8 cm
Christophe Guye Galerie Enquire
English Channel, Weston Cliff by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoEnglish Channel, Weston Cliff, 1994Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed 1994
18.5 x 23.5 inches
Bruce Silverstein Contact Gallery
Diana, Princess of Wales by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork
Hiroshi SugimotoDiana, Princess of Wales, 1990gelatin silver print
Variable dimensions
Not for sale
Duddell's

Hiroshi Sugimoto Recent Exhibitions

View All (7)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Lasting Impressions at Dellasposa Gallery, London
Closed
4 March–30 May 2020 Group Exhibition Lasting Impressions Dellasposa GalleryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Past Presence at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Closed
10 September–26 October 2019 Hiroshi Sugimoto Past Presence Marian Goodman GalleryNew York
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 GalleryNew York

Hiroshi Sugimoto Represented By

Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris, London

Hiroshi Sugimoto In Ocula Magazine

Hiroshi Sugimoto Ocula Conversation Hiroshi Sugimoto By Catherine Shaw, Hong Kong

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More
The Arts & Museum Summit, Hong Kong Ocula Feature The Arts & Museum Summit, Hong Kong By Diana d'Arenberg, Hong Kong

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Alan Lo Ocula Conversation Alan Lo

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Stephen Mccoubrey Ocula Conversation Stephen Mccoubrey

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Hiroshi Sugimoto In Related Press

View All (22)
Preview Art Basel 2019 Related Press Preview Art Basel 2019 7 June 2019, ARTnews

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.

Fade out copy.
Read More
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 18 October 2017, Wallpaper*

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More
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 23 May 2017, Wallpaper*

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'.

Fade out copy.
Read More
The Veteran Photographer Making Stunning New Buildings Related Press The Veteran Photographer Making Stunning New Buildings 8 April 2017, The New York Times Style Magazine

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...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Hiroshi Sugimoto In Video & Audio

Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Hiroshi Sugimoto are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;