“When I go somewhere for shooting with my camera, there is always a kind of world that reveals to me just for a second. I can see through it instantly, while still being in my own world. I grasp it as a sensuous experience. At the same moment, I know my subject also sees through me. Between “see” and “see through,” there is a very subtle relationship, and this tension is indispensable in my photography.” — Issei Suda
Issei Suda (b. 1940 – d. 2019) began his long and celebrated career in 1967 as a stage photographer of avant-garde Japanese theatre. His travels through Japan during the early 1970s inspired much of his work at the time and concentrated on street scenes. He discovered the random beauty of textures and patterns in nature, and of ordinary people in their everyday habitat. Throughout his career, Suda demonstrated an innate ability to show people as latent participants existing in the highly charged space between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
This exhibition, in tribute to Suda’s legacy, features approximately 25 monochrome prints selected from his 1996 monograph entitled Human Memory which won the Ken Domon Award. In the postscript of the book, Suda describes his snapshots of strangers and everyday scenes as a strong reminder of himself, identifying within the gaze of his subjects a very personal connection. He also believes a photographic image, even its fragment, reflects on the human emotions that are woven into everything around us – people, materials, nature, and therefore can reinvigorate a ghost-like ambiguous memory, often disorienting time and place.