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Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto

*  1948 Tokio

Sugimoto completed his first degree at Saint Paul's University in Tokyo with a Bachelor of Arts in 1970. After extensive travels through the Soviet Union and Europe he settled in Los Angeles and began a second degree at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Sugimoto has been living in New York and Japan since 1974, but many of his photographs are taken during his travels. His minimalist black-and-white photographs are studies of tranquillity, clarity and void.
Sugimoto began making his first photographic series in 1974 and continued working on it until the 1980s. The series shows nature dioramas in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A second series, made in 1976, documents American cinemas in the late 1920s and 1930s. Sugimoto here exposed the film for the period of a movie in darkened cinemas with only a dim area of pure light on the screen. Works from these two series were exhibited together with the series Here There and Everywhere of 1976 in Sugimoto's first one-man-exhibition at the Miami Gallery in Tokyo in 1977. In 1994 the artist made a series of wax figures, which he photographed in the Movieland Wax Museum in Los Angeles and at Madame Tussaud's in London. The series Hall of the Thirty-Three Bays, stills showing 48 nearly identical photographs of statues of the Bodhisvatta Kanon taken in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, was made in 1995. Sugimoto has been working on his Seascape series since 1978 - carefully planned photographs of the sea and the sky in which each picture is divided in half by the horizon.
In 1996 Sugimoto exhibited works in important group exhibitions like the 10th Biennale in Sydney and the exhibition "Prospect 96" at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main. The exhibition "Beauty Now" at the Haus der Kunst in Munich at the beginning of 2000 included a number of his latest Seascape pictures. There have also been a number of one-man exhibitions dedicated to the artist since the mid 1990s, such as at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1994), the Kunsthalle Basle (1995), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1995/96), the Fundació "la Caixa", Madrid (1998) and the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2000).