Paris Photo New York highlights
This week we present you with our fourth Viewing Room, to close the month of April and round up our Paris Photo New York offering.
I hope you enjoy my personal selection of highlights, which include individual works that resonate with me by Japanese photographers Katsuji Fukuda, Sohei Nishino and Iwao Yamawaki.
Also featured are pieces by Eamonn Doyle and Tim Walker as we take you through the story of each work and the artists' influences; from material as diverse as the maps traditionally used by pilgrims to navigate holy sites to 19th century concave mirrors.
As always I look forward to receiving your comments, queries and questions.
Katsuji FukudaStill Life, 1954-55
Katsuji Fukuda (1899 - 1991) was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in south-western Japan. He moved to Tokyo in 1920, where he worked for the forerunner of Olympus (Takachiho Seisakujo). The Great Kantō Earthquake (1923) forced him to move to the Kansai region, where he held various positions including that of editorial assistant at Fuchikami Hakuyo's famous magazine Hakuyo. He returned to Tokyo in 1933 where he turned to advertising photography and increasingly specialised in photographing women. Fukuda was a photographer who rapidly adapted his practise to embrace the technical developments which were revolutionising his field, and he published a number of technical treatise and dialogues which were regarded as highly influential by the following generation of photographers. In particular, Daidō Moriyama has described the importance of Fukuda's imagery and approach at the time when he was reassessing the fundamentals of photography in his series Light and Dark (Hikari to Kage, 1982).
Fukuda's life was celebrated at a solo retrospective held by the Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, and his works are held in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Yokohama Prefectural Museum of Art.
Fukuda returned to the graphically contrasting image of the egg against gloves throughout his career. This motif appears for the first time in 'Photo Publicity', a photobook from 1933 in which Fukuda's work was selected as part of a group show organised by Asahi Newspapers in Tokyo.
Progression of the glove and egg from commercial to signature (Heiting / Kaneko, Steidl 2017)
Fukuda's work was included alongside photography by Kimura Ihei, Ueda Shoji and Nakayama Iwata, and the book was translated into French so that international audiences might learn about developments in contemporary Japanese photography. In 1938, Fukuda returned to this image in a very different context, showing the glove and egg in a softer grey palette, and with a heightened sense of perspective and field depth. By this time, Fukuda was already gaining recognition for his technical acumen and skill as a commercial photographer, and in his book 'Practical Photography: My Photo Book', he illustrates some of his most successful approaches to documenting subjects he encountered during his everyday life. His decision to use an outline of the glove alongside his name in the frontispiece implies that it had become something of a personal signature.'Signed, titled in pencil, date and various print date stamps on versoVintage silver gelatin. Exhibition print.41 x 33.3 cm£7,500 excluding tax and shipping
Iwao Yamawaki was one of the only Japanese students to attend the Bauhaus during the 1930’s, and plays an interesting role at the intersection of Modernism and Japan’s history of photography. He began his career in Tokyo as an architect but became dissatisfied with Japanese practices and left to enrol with his wife as students at the Bauhaus in Dessau. He began by continuing his architectural studies, but quickly moved on to the photography department where he produced some of his best work, focussed on architectural photography, portraits, still-lifes and photomontages.
One can see that Yamawaki’s photographic practice was highly influenced by his Bauhaus teachers, including Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Walter Peterhans who encouraged the dynamism that became a hallmark of his visual language. In 1931, Yamawaki and his wife returned to Japan on the Trans Siberian Railway, stopping briefly in Moscow where this strange and powerful vintage print was made. Whilst ostensibly a reportage photograph, it clearly shows Yamawaki’s talent in interpreting the connection between human beings and urban architectural spaces.Signed in pencil on versoVintage silver gelatin print22.9 x 16.8 cm£5,500 excluding tax and shipping
Eamonn Doyle writes: "This photograph happened a year after I had completed the Dublin trilogy. The woman is wearing what appears to be men's clothing. She seems to be looking back from a corner in time, surveying, or waiting, for something, or someone. Perhaps she is waiting for the people of the Dublin trilogy, of i in particular, to move on, or to catch up, so that she can move on, because time has passed now. She is like a shadow that has taken shape out of all the shadows that have been thrown along this street, O’Connell Street. So this photograph feels to me now like a kind of epilogue, a sense of ‘later in the future', a shadow of time."
Born in Dublin in 1969, Eamonn studied painting and photography at college, graduating in 1991. He spent much of the next two decades producing and publishing music, during which he also founded the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival alongside the record labels D1 Recordings and Dead Elvis. He returned to photography in 2008. His debut photo-book i, 2014, was described by Martin Parr as ‘the best street photo-book in a decade’. This was followed by ON, 2015, and the award-winning End., 2016, which together with i, became known as his Dublin trilogy, culminating in a ground-breaking immersive exhibition at Rencontres d’Arles 2016. Though most of this work was produced in and around the Dublin city centre location where he has lived for over twenty years, Eamonn’s most recent body of work, K, 2018, took him to the wild Atlantic coast of Ireland and to the volcanic landscapes of Extremadura in Spain. Eamonn still lives and works where it all began, just off Parnell Street in Dublin, with the D1 Recordings studio still operating from the basement.Accompanied by a signed and editioned label from the artist.
Signed and dated in pencil by the artist on the verso.Archival pigment printPaper size: 66 x 85 cm
Image size: 59 x 79 cmEdition of 5 + 2APs£3,500 excluding frame, tax, shipping
Tim WalkerJames Crewe, Fashion: Valentino Haute Couture, Dorset, 2018
"To me, the V&A has always been a palace of dreams – it's the most inspiring place in the world. (...) Many of the objects that I saw during my research at the museum made my heart swell and I wanted to try to create a photograph that would relate not only to the physical presence and beauty of that object, but also to my emotional reaction to it. Each new shoot is a love letter to an object from the V&A collection, and an attempt to capture my encounter with the sublime." Extract from Love Letter to the V&A, Tim Walker.
Three years ago, British fashion photographer Tim Walker was commissioned by the V&A Museum to create ten new photographic series inspired by objects in their collection. He had access to their whole archive and chose ten items from it in order to create what has become his biggest solo show to date, Wonderful Things. Anyone that knows the V&A can only imagine how hard it must have been to make that selection!
This photograph takes inspiration from a 19th century circular concave mirror originally belonging to renowned early photographers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson (see installation shot). Hill and Adamson formed Scotland's first photographic studio and for early photographers like them, natural daylight was crucial to creating the perfect portrait: this mirror would have been used to reflect sunlight onto the faces of their sitters. Tim Walker's James Crewe, Fashion: Valentino Haute Couture, Dorset, 2018, shot with fish-eye lenses, framed in a circular frame with a domed glass, is presented in the museum as the matching half of the mirror, one almost feels that the photograph was born from it.
Tim was especially drawn to the moon-like shape of the mirror. The moon has always been a source of inspiration for him, as cited in the title of his recently released retrospective book, Shoot for the Moon. The phrase originated from a quote by American author Norman Vincent Peale: 'Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.' This is a message that Tim Walker wants to share with all of us, as creatives around the world.
Installation shot : "Wonderful Things", Victoria and Albert Museum London, September 2019
Born in England in 1970, Tim Walker's interest in photographs began at the Condé Nast library in London where he worked on the Cecil Beaton archive before taking up a place at Exeter College of Art to study photography. After graduating, he became assistant to Richard Avedon in New York before returning to England where he initially concentrated on portrait and documentary work for UK newspapers.
At the age of 25 Walker shot his first fashion story for Vogue, and has photographed for the British, Italian and American editions ever since. He has also contributed to Harpers Bazaar, W, i-D and Vanity Fair magazines, and advertising campaigns for brands such as Yohji Yamamoto, Guerlain and Dior Parfums.
His first major show was held at the Design Museum in London in 2008, coinciding with the publication of his first monograph Pictures. In November 2008 Walker received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creators from The British Fashion Council and, in May 2009, he received an Infinity Award from The International Center of Photography, New York. In 2012 Tim opened a major mid-career retrospective at Somerset House in London which marked the launch of his second book Story Teller (Thames and Hudson, 2012). In 2019, he was the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the largest show the museum has ever held for a living artist. Walker's work is held in the permanent collections of both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in London.Accompanied by a signed, titled and editioned artist labelArchival pigment printEdition of 10100 cm diameter (round image)£20,000 excluding frame, tax and shipping
Sohei NishinoMountain Lines, Everest , 2019
Sohei Nishino’s enduring fascination with map-making has taken a new direction in his most recent projects, which bring his cartographic vision to bear upon places which have traditionally defied definition on paper. His signature photo-collage technique pieces together thousands of images taken over the course of his travels, to construct dioramas of complex geographies which integrate human and physical landscapes.
Nishino’s Everest draws inspiration from the maps used traditionally by pilgrims to navigate holy sites. Fascinated by the historical significance and symbolism of Everest, Nishino shot almost 400 rolls of film during his 23 day journey from Lucla to Gokyo Peak. He relates this intense journey through the Himalayas to those undertaken by sherpas and other local people who call the mountain home. Instead of following a linear course to a fixed destination, Nishino captures his experience of the road from a dense and meticulously planned variety of vantage points. Whilst Nishino continues to explore his interest in the relationship between people and their environment, his map of Everest illustrates an intense engagement with this harsh geography, and the ways that it shapes the lives of local populations. Nishino has described this project as one of the toughest periods of shooting, and in its unprecedented scale and use of colour it stands apart from his other work to date.
In making his diorama maps, Nishino combines photography, collage, cartography and psychogeography to create large prints of diverse places. Drawing inspiration from the 18th century Japanese mapmaker Ino Tadataka, his prints re-imagine the locations he has visited. To build his diorama maps, Nishino walks for an average of three months, exploring many vantage points and gathering hundreds of rolls of exposed film. He then painstakingly prints the photographs by hand and compiles them to form the tableaux he will use as the basis for his limited edition photographs.
The overall effect is not a traditional bird's-eye view but an enlightened way of seeing three dimensions in a single plane. Although geographical accuracy is important in this process, scales are altered and locations occasionally repeated, mimicking our own fluid memories of place and time. From a distance the maps are almost abstract, it is not until we examine them in detail that the full diorama unfolds - the theatre of one man's city played out in miniature.
Sohei Nishino was born in Hyogo, Japan in 1982. He graduated from Osaka University of the Arts in 2004, when he began working on his diorama Map series. Since then he has exhibited his work internationally and gleaned numerous awards including the President Award, Osaka University of Arts (2004), the Young Eye Japanese Photographer Association Award (2005), the Canon New Cosmos Photography Award (2005) and the Canon Excellence Award (2005). He has also participated in several group shows, festivals and solo exhibitions: Daegu Photo Biennale, Korea (2010); Out of Focus exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.10, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2012); A Different Kind of Order: ICP Triennial, New York (2013).
Sohei Nishino "Mountain Lines, Everest", 2019
Accompanied by a signed, titled and editioned artist label
Pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo-Rag Baryta paper
Edition of 15
185 cm x 105.4 cm
£25,000 excluding tax and shipping, including framing
Click on any given image for more details
Katsuji Fukuda, Still Life, 1954-55
Iwao Yamawaki, Men Working on Banner, Moscow 1931
Eamonn Doyle, O'Connell street, Dublin, 2017
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