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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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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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Sea of Buddha (043) by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoSea of Buddha (043), 1995 Gelatin silver print
119.4 x 149.2 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
South Pacific Ocean, Maraenui by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoSouth Pacific Ocean, Maraenui, 1990 Gelatin silver print
50.8 x 61 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Lake Superior, Jacobs Creek Falls by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoLake Superior, Jacobs Creek Falls, 2003 Gelatin silver print
50.8 x 61 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Sea of Okhotsk, Kamui by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoSea of Okhotsk, Kamui, 1996 Gelatin silver print
50.8 x 61 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Gates of Paradise - 01 Adam and Eve by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoGates of Paradise - 01 Adam and Eve, 2016 Silver gelatin print
114 x 91 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
PPRTD 040 by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoPPRTD 040, 2014 Silver gelatin print. Accompanied by a deluxe copy of the English ‘Hiroshi Sugimoto Revue’, in a specially commissioned box designed by the artist
32 x 25 cm
Cahiers d'Art
Arcadia, Milan by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoArcadia, Milan, 1998 Blindstamped with title, date and number Gelatin silver print
50.8 x 61 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Stadium Drive-In, Orange by Hiroshi Sugimoto contemporary artwork Hiroshi SugimotoStadium Drive-In, Orange, 1993 Blindstamped with title, date and number Gelatin silver print
50 x 61 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts

Recent Exhibitions

View All (7)
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
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Une collection de photographies at rodolphe janssen, Brussels
Closed
17 May–13 July 2018 Group Exhibition Une collection de photographies rodolphe janssen, Brussels

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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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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'Time, Light, Japan': Japanese art from the 1990s to now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Related Press 'Time, Light, Japan': Japanese art from the 1990s to now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Art Radar Journal : 4 April 2017

From 17 December 2016 to 30 April 2017 the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney presents Time, light, Japan: Japanese art 1990s to now. The exhibition explores time and light through video, photography, sound and installation from the 1990s to now. Drawing from the gallery's collection, the exhibition brings together the works of eight Japanese...

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In Related Video

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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