Hiroshi Sugimoto (b.1948) and Nobuyoshi Araki (b.1940) are two of Japan’s most celebrated living photographers. Obsessional in their exploration of the themes of life and death, they share an abiding fascination in photography’s ability to manipulate the viewer’s perception of time and reality.
The display includes Cibachrome prints from Araki’s Flower Rondeau (1997) series, which depict eroticised images of nature’s ripeness and decay. Boldly seductive, the heavy blooms in these photographs captivate the eye with their lurid brilliance. Araki halts time’s progress in this series, delivering the flowers from death and preserving nature’s ephemeral beauty eternally.Sugimoto uses photography as a time-recording device to ‘fossilise’ the present. The sublime minimalism of his Seascapes from the 1980sevokes memories of a primordial past from which all life emerged. This evolutionary theme continues in a series of natural history dioramas from The Origins of Love (2004) portfolio. Responding to the artificial displays at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Sugimoto’s photography invests the museum’s taxidermy exhibits and plastic models with a vitality and authenticity that they do not possess in real life