Hiroshi Sugimoto is an professional photographer who was born in 1948 in Tokyo, Japan. Hiroshi currently based between New York and Tokyo. He was graduated from Saint Paul’s University, Tokyo and Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles. Sugimoto has received a number of grants and fellowships, and his work is held in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, among many others.
Throughout the mid to late 1970s and upwards, Hiroshi Sugimoto packed up a folding 4×5 camera & tripod, surreptitiously entered matinees (and, one can only presume, evening film events) and documented the interior of movie theatres across the United States – invoking a classic procedure borrowed from Conceptual Art. He would open the shutter just before the ‘first light’ hit the screen and close it after the credits finished rolling and before the house lights came on. Using this method he was able to invert the subject/object relationship of the movie theatre and use the film itself to illuminate the proscenium and interior.
Overall, Sugimoto has lead a undeniably successful career and continues to add to his vast collection of series, both in new series and in numbers to the old series he started ages ago. This continuation of his series results in an interesting phenomenon unlike any other artist were while there is evolution of ideas there is still a return to the past. After reading so much about Sugimoto’s work this is especially interesting because it directly reflects the philosophy and ideas he explores in his work.
“Water and air. So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention – and yet they vouchsafe our very existence.
The beginnings of life are shrouded in myth: Let there water and air. Living phenomena spontaneously generated from water and air in the presence of light, though that could just as easily suggest random coincidence as a Deity. Let’s just say that there happened to be a planet with water and air in our solar system, and moreover at precisely the right distance from the sun for the temperatures required to coax forth life. While hardly inconceivable that at least one such planet should exist in the vast reaches of universe, we search in vain for another similar example.
Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.”