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Hiroshi Sugimoto

     Hiroshi Sugimoto a Japanese photographer was born in February 23 1948 in Tokyo Japan. He is a well talented photographer who studied Sociology and Politics at Rikkyo University in Tokyo Japan. In 1974, he proceeded with his studies where he trained as an artist and upon completion he was awarded a BFA in Fine Arts by Art Center college of Design Situated in Los Angeles. There after he settled in the US where he continues to pursue his career.. He currently spends most of his time travelling between New York in the United States and Tokyo Japan. His Catalogue is composed of a number of Series with similar attributes but having a distinct theme.

According to (Andrew Blum, 2006), Sugimoto has constantly focused on his works and maintains that his work is an expression of photographs that serve as a time capsule for a number of scenarios that take place during a certain period. In addition, his works also focus on the conflict between life and death and the transience of life. He was highly influenced by the writings of Marcel Duchamp and those of Surrealist and Dadaist movements. In his interests, He has focused on modern architecture and that of the late 20th century. He possesses a large format camera together with his long photographic experience has given him an outstanding reputation as a photographer with exceptional technical abilities. Moreover, he is renowned for his philosophical and conceptual aspects of his works.

Portraits and Dioramas

When he began his works Dioramas in 1976, in which he photographed a series of displays that featured on the natural history of museums. In some of his a photo, like that of a polar bear depicts his photographic abilities. Many of his pictures are able to show many reality tricks to the audience and may assume that his photos taken from a museum are real. Consequently, Sugimotos's photographs of Henry VIII together with his wives are based on the portraits of the 16th century and when taking his photo he attempts to create the best lighting that would have been used by the original painter. His photographic abilities are also featured on three quarter view photographs of Madame Tussaud's In London, Which he used the 8 by 10 inch negatives shows more realistic wax figures that he took against a black background.

Sugimoto's Theatre

His Theatre series commenced in 1978 and involved the photographing of the old drive ins and palaces by the use of the 4x5 camera fixed on a tripod and by opening the shutter on his camera, he exposed the film in the duration of the entire movie with a film projector providing the sole lighting. When looking at the architectural details, luminescent screen and the theatre seats as the core subjects of his photographs, they give his photographs a surreal look and this scenario reveal the concept of time in his photos.

Other Photographic Achievements

Sugimoto has also taken critical seascape photographs featuring on the sea and its horizon in many locations across the world by the use of his old fashioned camera that makes varying durations up to three hours. In his architectural works, he photographed the Sanjusangen-do in Tokyo in 1995 in which he used medieval photographic method produced 48 photographs, which he took from a high vantage that are still in that building up to now.

Since1997, Sugimoto has produced large format photographs of various notable buildings all over the world. In his recent works, he has accomplished his architectural works which he utilizes to design his exhibitions. He also has many collections of his works, which can be found in many museums both in USA and Japan.

In conclusion, Sugimoto has made many achievements in his photographic work which have earned him a respectable reputation as technical photographer globally. He has written four books, Seascapes, Time Exposed, In praise of Shadows and Theatres which have subsequently earned him two global awards.


Andrew Blum. (2006). The Art Capturing Sugimoto's collection. New York Times.

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Posted on 2012-11-13, By: *

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