Taka Ishii Gallery Roppongi


Shomei Tomatsu
The Pencil of the Sun, 1971 / 2010
ink-jet print
100 x 70.94 cm

Shomei Tomatsu

Dates: April 16 – May 21 [Golden Week Holidays: May 1-5]

Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film (Roppongi, Tokyo)


Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film is pleased to announce the exhibition of Shomei Tomatsu’s work from 16 April to 21 May. As this is Tomatsu’s debut exhibition with the gallery, we will be presenting a wide range of work; large scale digitally printed photographs previously exhibited in Shomei Tomatsu – The Chiseling of Time at the Nagasaki Prefectural Museum (2010), as well as a selection of several vintage prints.

Photography is a medium brought together through a process of decision-making. First of all, I select the camera, lens, and the light-sensitive material. I select the subject. I select a portion of an endlessly vast space, and crop it. I determine the date and time, and select the light and wind. I select an angle. Then I select an opportunity. I select a few images from the contact sheets, enlarge them and then select one from that selection, and then we arrive at the exhibited piece. A photographer doesn’t offer treatment like a doctor, doesn’t analyze like an academic, and doesn’t support like a priest. Neither do we invite laughter like a comedian, or intoxicate like a singer. A photographer just keeps looking. The whole process concludes in looking and selecting—that is a photographer.

Shomei Tomatsu ‘The Chiseling of Time: 60 Years of Tomatsu Shomei’
The Nishinippon Shinbun, The Nishinippon Shimbun Co.,Ltd., Jul. 5, 2010

The exhibition is comprised of a selection of works from a wide timeframe, ranging from the late 1950s to more recent years. The year, location and subject may vary; however, the tension unique to Tomatsu’s work and his particular sense of composition results in a consistency visible throughout. Tomatsu’s practice bridges prewar photography and the contemporary, whilst exploring the most extreme possibilities of photographic expression.