Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Toshio Shibata

In many ways, Japanese photography has often gone its own way. After its early introduction, Japanese photography very quickly developed its own character and nuances. This seems to have carried through to the present day.

Often this photography seems to proceed in its own parallel universe for the majority of photographers in the West. Even some of the most well known Japanese photographers are hardly household names in Europe or N. America (even in photographic households).

There are several Japanese photographers I want to pick up on. The first is Toshio Shibata. Unlike some, his work is published outside Japan and fairly widely exhibited. I like what his work does with the relationship between man and the landscape. And his pictures can be quite stunningly beautiful.

"Toshio Shibata's landscape photographs are perhaps most extraordinary for their startling sense of scale, their meticulous, indeed excruciating detail. After immersing ourselves in them, we realize that the man-made structure--usually a dam, or something designed to bring a stream, and sometimes land, under control--is at odds with nature, not just technically, but spatially. Indeed, geometrical structure and nature inhabit their own spaces, but the vastness of the overall space Shibata photographs makes clear how irreconcilable they are. Shibata turns the traditional nature/culture duality into a nature/technology duality..." (from Artforum)


Unknown said...

Tim, thanks for bringing this photographer to my attention. Spectacular images!

Unknown said...

Toshio is without a doubt in my mind, one of the best living photographers. Unfortunately, I guess, is most people have no idea about him.

SEAH said...

Toshio Shibata is a great photographer in my opinion. I enjoy the way his works combine strong compositional elements with aesthetic elements, and the occasional surprise.