A Fine Day in Tokyo
21/Apr/2018 - 2/Jun/2018
KOSAKU KANECHIKA is pleased to present Chikashi Suzuki’s solo exhibition “A Fine Day in Tokyo” from April 21.
Chikashi Suzuki presents work in both international and Japanese editorials such as Purple, i-D, Dazed & Confused and Libertin/DUNE, and has worked on the world campaign visuals of ISSEY MIYAKE, United Bamboo and TOGA, making him one of the most well-known Japanese photographers in editorial and fashion photography since the 1990s. Editor Fumihiro Hayashi remarked of him in the foreword in Tokyolife: Art and Design (Rizzoli, 2008):
Suzuki is one of the few Japanese fashion photographers in the truest sense of the term, and his work brims with an originality that has been well received in the overseas market. His fashion work is greatly influenced by the self-referential decadence of the Antwerp Group, characterized by figures like Martin Margiela, yet retains a traditional sense of propriety and even serenity. It is a nuanced appeal that can only be achieved by a Japanese sensibility. Suzuki insists upon remaining devoted to fashion photography and rarely exceeds that boundary except for his own outings into non-functional art. In a world where commercialism has almost universally prevailed, Suzuki’s rather hermetic style has only made his originality more acute. His singular use of color, and a style that operates upon a sense of ma is strong enough to anticipate his continuing to exert a powerful influence outside Japan for a long time to come.
(Fumihiro Hayashi, “Art and Fashion Photography”, translated by Mika Yoshida & David G. Imber, Tokyolife: Art and Design, Rizzoli, 2008)
It is not easy to preserve an element of originality in photography: a medium saturated with different technical methodologies and in which the use of digital has become widespread. In fact, Suzuki’s style has often been copied. Suzuki has established a reputation as an artist with original style through his abundant experience in both the domestic and international fields, but also from a perspective of observing how top photographers in the world establish their own originality and the structures of the photography industry as a whole, thereby acquiring techniques of managing the entire shooting setting, and focusing earnestly on pursuing his own practice, curiosity, time and culture.
It is not surprising that Suzuki was interested in contemporary art, especially Joseph Beuys whose work emphasized social engagement, and philosophical and historical perspectives, before he started his career as a photographer. After being deeply impressed by a documentary about Martin Margiela created by the Swedish photographer Anders Edström, he moved to Paris. There, he was introduced to Purple magazine, where his first work for them became the issue cover. Suzuki stayed in Paris for one year and then returned to Tokyo, from where he continues to work internationally.
In Suzuki’s photographs, his subjects – the city of Tokyo that attracts creators from all over the world, and its celebrities and artists, from well-known designers to young models – seem to show a different side from their public image: just for a moment, some fresh aspect from deep inside of them becomes instinctively visible. This is perhaps because Suzuki does not focus merely on the subjects themselves, but captures the whole space shared between subject and photographer. Subjects naturally exist as a part of spaces and environments that are constantly undergoing transformation.
This exhibition will feature approximately 30 works.
About This Exhibition
This exhibition will feature about 30 selected images from Suzuki’s work throughout his career, including subjects such as flowers, the city of Tokyo, and portraits. Combining both photographs taken under direction and snapshots, as well as works that have never been presented before, this exhibition will offer the chance to sense the breadth of Suzuki’s creative perspective, and will represent Suzuki’s imaginative and thought processes. All taken with film, the photographs have been selected without adherence to particular themes. A rich narrative becomes manifest in the exhibition space from an abundance of a kind of energy, formed of an accumulation of moments each with the density of only having been possible to capture at their particular place and time – all taken on film, disallowing the possibility of editing or retouching, and therefore adding an element of the unpredictable to mere technique and concept.
Together with the use of positive films and dates on his photographs, Suzuki is known for his unique technique of using of half-frame cameras, with which he creates multiple cuts on one sheet with reduced sharpness. He started exploring what was possible within the limitations of film cameras when digital became widely available, making work that turned the half-frame camera’s inconvenience into an advantage. Positive film also makes possible the expression of the particular humidity special to the city of Tokyo, which Suzuki also discovered because he searched for it in analogue after digital had made it possible. Suzuki’s work is a unique world of beauty that lingers deep within us, even though it is composed of simple fragments of transient time. This shown is a rare opportunity to see Suzuki’s multifaceted practice, up until now mainly expressed in editorials, within an exhibition space.
Chikashi Suzuki "A Fine Day in Tokyo"
April 21 - June 2, 2018
11 am - 6 pm / Tue, Wed, Thu and Saturday
11 am - 8 pm / Friday
Closed on Sun, Mon and National Holidays
TERRADA Art Complex 5F
Chikashi Suzuki was born in 1972 in Chiba, Japan. He moved to Paris in 1998 and started his career as a photographer with the magazine Purple. His work has been published in many international magazines such as Purple (France), Libertine/DUNE (Japan), i-D (UK), Dazed and Confused (UK), CODE (the Netherlands), Hobo (Canada), IANN (South Korea), honeyee.com (Japan), and commons & sense (Japan). His prolific practice also includes campaign visuals for fashion brands such as ISSEY MIYAKE, TOGA, and Y’s; movies for GUCCI and FACETASM; and photography for Björk’s Biophilia and Banana Yoshimoto’s book Donguri Shimai (2011, Shinchosha). Suzuki has held solo exhibitions at treesaresospecial (2005, Tokyo) and G/P Gallery (2009, Tokyo), and his group exhibition venues include colette (1998, Paris), LA MOCA (1998, Los Angeles), and the Henry Art Gallery (2001, Washington). His major publications include “shapes of blooming” (2005, treesaresospecial), “Driving with Rinko Kikuchi” (2008, THE international), “Lumen #06 Chikashi Suzuki: CITE” (2009, Art Beat Publishers/ G/P Gallery), and “SAKURA!” (2014, litter more) amongst others.