Timeless | Takeshi Shikama
17 May- 10 June 2018
Shed Gallery, in association with Boogie Woogie Photography and Lunn Galerie, is proud to present Timeless, the first solo exhibition by Japanese photographer Takeshi Shikama in London, from May 17th to June 10th.
Takeshi’s work is the result of a journey. From long walks in remote Japanese or American woodlands and Europe, to urban forests such as Central Park in New York or the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, Takeshi Shikama trained his lens to capture fleeting moments of living things : plants and flowers about to wither, flowing streams or shadows cast by trees.
Each photograph is hand-printed by Takeshi Shikama himself, using the ancient platinum/palladium technique, considered the
Contemplation-Kyoto: Kyoto Gosyo #1,
2016 highest quality in black and white photographic
printing. The paper on which he prints is itself quite special. Declared a UNESCO national treasure in 2014, this very thin, almost transparent, non-acidic, traditional Japanese paper is made from natural fibers of the Gampi tree.
With its velvet-like quality, the platinum/palladium print possesses a wider range of greys. It restores more detail than a gelatin silver print from the same negative, providing minutiae and depth to the image. The delicacy of gampi paper gives each print a unique artisanal and precious quality. Its specific tonality softens the black platinum without diminishing the details of each subject.
Timeless showcases twenty photographs by
Takeshi Shikama including outstanding prints from his iconic series : Silent Respiration of
Forests, Garden of Memory and Contemplation.
Garden of Memory Plants, Plants #25, 2008
ABOUT TAKESHI SHIKAMA
Born 1948, in Tokyo, Japan
In 2002, Takeshi Shikama turned to photography after a career in the field of design. He was drawn to forests as the subject for his large format camera. It was the “invisible world”, hidden behind the “visible” that he worked to capture. His first photo collection was published in 2007 as Mori no Hida (Silent Respiration of Forests). This project launched his lifetime endeavor.
Roaming the forests, he trained his lens to capture the scenes of fleeting moments of all living things such as plants and flowers about to wither, streams of flowing water, or shadows cast by trees. Using a handy Hasselblad camera, he began a new body of work in five parts. Utsuroi (Evanescence: Forest, Field, Lotus, Garden and Landscape).
As Shikama’s desire to capture forests grew, he ventured outside Japan, expanding his vision to capture new locations and landscapes in America and Europe. He added two new series Yosemite and the Pacific Northwest to Silent Respiration of Forests. While traveling, his eye was drawn to man-made nature in the metropolises of New York, Paris, Milan and Barcelona. This gave birth to another series : Urban Forests.
While preserving the continuity with his first opus Silent Respiration of Forests and echoing the Evanescence series, Shikama’s new photographs constitute an alternate body of work. Kansyo (Contemplation) regroups images received from once-in-a-life time encounters. There are currently 10 parts in this series : The Netherlands, Ancient Stones, Isle of Skye, Great Britain, Galicia, France, Dolomiti, Kyoto, Ise and Yukawa valley.
Another series of photographs inspired by his travels in Spain and Italy is Bi no Tani (Valley of Beauty). Il Giardino Segreto (Secret Garden) was conceived after Takeshi Shikama visited Berlin in Germany and Bomarzo in Italy.
Garden of Memory - Animals, Plants, Seeds, which the artist began in 2008, is conceived as a contemporary Noah’s Ark. Shikama photographed naturalized animals in the dioramas of New York's Natural History Museum, plant specimens in various greenhouses and, more recently, dried seeds. He then started printing the images in 2016 and 2017, creating an inventory of the earth's flora and fauna to pass on to future generations.
Shikama’s work has been exhibited internationally, primarily in Europe, the United States, and consistently in Japan. His photographic prints have been acquired by prestigious public and private collections throughout the world. This is the first solo exhibition of his work to be presented in London.
ABOUT SHED GALLERY
SHED has been operating as east London's most accessible photographic studio hire since 2012. SHED offers co-working spaces to many of London’s creative freelancers and companies. The studio works closely in photographic production and the proliferation of the photographic medium at large with a dedicated gallery space for showcasing publications and printed material in relation to local and international photography.
ABOUT BOOGIE WOOGIE PHOTOGRAPHY
Boogie Woogie Photography is a company founded by Vanessa Franklin and Xavier Mahe in Hong Kong in 2016 to promote photography in Asia. It is named after the Broadway Boogie to which the artist Piet Mondrian loved to dance. The launch of Boogie Woogie Photography responds to the growing interest for artistic photographic prints in Asia. Collectors, galleries and museums are now increasingly promoting photographic works and the artists who produce them.
ABOUT LUNN GALERIE
LUNN GALERIE was created in 2015 by Christophe Lunn, Paris-based photographs dealer and expert, and former co-director of PHOTO VIVIENNE. Lunn has been working with Takeshi Shikama since the beginning of his photographic career, providing the artist with his first group and solo shows in France and helping to develop his international exposure through various photography fairs.
For enquiries and medias interviews please contact: Xavier Mahe by email firstname.lastname@example.org