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Photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto: Dioramas, Theaters, Seascapes (Sonnabend Gallery and Sagacho Exhibit Space)

Publisher: New York and London: Sonnabend Sundell Editions and eyestorm, 1988
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Soft cover
Condition: Near Fine / Near Fine
Item #: 107693



First edition, first printing. Soft cover. Pale taupe heavy wrappers with "Sugimoto" printed on cover and spine, with matching dust jacket. Photographs and introduction (in Japanese) by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Project Director, Kazuko Koike. Edited by Atsuko Koyanagi. Designed by Takaaki Matsumoto/M Plus M Incorporated, New York. Includes a brief biography, list of exhibitions, grants and collections. Unpaginated (100 pp.), with 43 black-and-white plates beautifully printed on heavy coated paper by Mitsumura Printing Co., Ltd., Japan. 10-1/8 x 13-1/4 inches. Published on the occasion of the 1988 exhibition "Hiroshi Sugimoto" at Sonnabend Gallery, New York, Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo and Zeito Photo Salon, Tokyo.


Near Fine (two very light 1/2 to 1-inch creases and a 1/2-inch linear indentation to the front cover (these imperfections are only visible in raking light), and a light bump to the lower left rear corner, not affecting pages), in Near Fine dust jacket (slight surface wear and slight toning or aging to the interior, mostly along the top edge; light wear to the extremities).


Sugimoto's first monograph, this exhibition catalogue introduced readers to the three most significant bodies of work he has produced since the late-1970s.

From the artist (on Dioramas): "Upon first arriving in New York in 1974, I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I'd found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, it's as good as real."

On Theaters: "I'm a habitual self-interlocutor. Around the time I started photographing at the Natural History Museum, one evening I had a near-hallucinatory vision. The question-and-answer session that led up to this vision went something like this: Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision. Dressed up as a tourist, I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture, and two hours later when the movie finished, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening, I developed the film, and the vision exploded behind my eyes."

On Seascapes: "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 be 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."