Hitoshi Fugo: Pictures Taken In Tokyo

Meara Sharma, The New York Times T Magazine, April 29, 2020

Excerpt from “Eight Photographers’ Pictures From Isolation” By Meara Sharma, for The New York Times T Magazine.   


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Hitoshi Fugo

"Pictures Taken in Tokyo"


"This series, “Chance and Necessity,” came out of two incidents I had in the kitchen of my home in Tokyo about a year ago. I attempted to toast leftover dumpling dough wrappers to transform them into croutons for salad. However, I kept them in my toaster too long and ended up burning them thoroughly. Then, I caught my breath at the radiant, black charred wrappers. Another time, I dropped a bunch of very thin dry somen noodles, and they scattered on the kitchen floor. They created a stunning, unexpected image of overlapping straight lines. These moments led me to start a new photographic series, which includes these pictures I made in the last couple of weeks, during the quarantine.


This theme of chance and necessity is something I have long been interested in, but the timeliness now is miraculous. It’s about using what you have. What I’m creating is a consequence of the collaboration between chance and the photographer. The artwork is not the black charred wrappers or scattered noodles themselves; it is the photographic images that emerge.


Now, we are experiencing fear of something not visible. We last had that during the Fukushima nuclear disaster nine years ago. We didn’t know what it would be like the next day, or the next week, and we were also scared by something we could not see. People tend to think that photographers take pictures of things that you can see, but I’m now realizing that it might be more important to express the opposite, what is not seeable. "

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