Monday, April 29, 2013

Toshio Shibata, Constructed Landscapes -- Photographs

Toshio Shibata, Constructed Landscapes is OPEN at PEM
On display now through October 6, 2013

New and seldom seen works by one of Japan’s visionary landscape photographers are now on display at the Peabody Essex Museum, located just one short block from the Hawthorne Hotel.  You will not want to miss these spectacular images.

While I have placed, with permission, some images for you to see in this blog post, I can assure you that these in no way can have the effect that seeing these very large images in person will have on you when you go to visit.

In addition to this great show you can also go to see the Nick Cave exhibit which continues to entrance me.
While both shows are relatively small in the number of items there to see, they are of such importance in what they offer that you simply cannot miss seeing them.
Toshio Shibata, Okawa Village, Tosa County, Kochi Prefecture, 2007 © Toshio Shibata

Since the early 1980s, Toshio Shibata has turned his lens on the roads, dams and bridges of Japan to create visually striking images highlighting the delicate balance between nature and the artificial. On view from April 20 - October 6, 2013, Toshio Shibata, Constructed Landscapes features 28 large scale photographs, including the first of the artist’s color photographs ever to be exhibited at an American museum.

Toshio Shibata, Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture, 2006 © Toshio Shibata

Shibata teases beauty out of the unlikeliest of places. Historically, Japanese photographers featured obviously picturesque locations such as temples and gardens. Shibata revolutionized landscape photography in Japan in the 1980s, by instead turning his attention to concrete engineering works and infrastructure found alongside Japanese roadways. He is drawn to these places as microcosms of the delicate balance between the rigidity of human-made structures and the organic properties of nature.

Toshio Shibata, Yunotani Village, Kitauonuma County, Niigata Prefecture, 1989 © Toshio Shibata

“As stunning as Toshio Shibata’s photographs are, they are infused with deep awareness of humanity’s place in nature,” said Phillip Prodger, PEM’s curator of photography.  “As with all the best landscape photographers, his works cause us to reflect on what it means to live in this world.”

Toshio Shibata, Okutama Town, Nishitama County, Tokyo, 2006 © Toshio Shibata

Toshio Shibata, Constructed Landscapes is part of PEM’s continuing effort to introduce contemporary international photographers and their work to new audiences.

This exhibition is made possible by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

I hope to see you here, or there.


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