Kikuji Kawada is creating his own world of photography more than 50 years based on myriad ability. The outstanding works of Kawada constantly attracts attention in Japan, and receives international attention as well. The recent series of work “Invisible City” including photographs from 2001 to 2006 was an imaginative document of the cities that are crumbling yet sure to reborn. This series of work is closely related “The Globe Theater”, the great trilogy by Kawada; in addition we can learn the world of photography by Kawada was created continually from his well-known work “The Map” and “Sacré- Atavism”.
As with many photographers had event that let them to start photography, what was Kawada’s beginnings of photography? Kawada mentions “The start of my photographs or ‘Beginning Style’ I think is within my works during the 15 year period from 1951 to 1966. That half a century has now passed before I noticed was because the taboo of not looking back at my own works had an agreement with the goddess of memory.” He also mentions “’Often the late style is hidden within the early works,’ the goddess Mnemosyne seems to whisper. I also hear a voice that says: ‘We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’”
Kawada had no interest in coming full circle nor in understanding the situation. However, he had an incident to feel that outside of the purview of this world it felt like there was another world. And he thought he had to divine the heart and soul of the theme “remembrance of a remote past” that is contained in the photographs. Through this work, he has now decided to put some thought into his ‘Late Style’”.
“Just like looking through the opposite end of binoculars, a photograph that utilizes the laws of perspective found in the traditional Japanese art ‘oshie’ and trompe l’oeil will out of nowhere become a life size living thing that causes awe. It serves notice that not only past memory but future memory is lurking. It is here tat you can experience jamais vu and déjà vu. It is like when a pile of photographs raises a real image. It exceeds time and place,” Kawada mentions.
Around 60 images photographed from 1951-1966 are shown at the exhibition. All prints are ink-jet prints recently printed by Kawada.
Born in Ibaraki Prefecture, 1933. Founder member of “VIVO”, photographers’ agency (1959-1961). Received the Minister of Education’s Art Encouragement Prize, 2004.
Selected Recent One-Person Exhibition:
“The Last Cosmology”, Tower Gallery, Yokohama (1995), “ZENO – The Last Cosmology”, Photo Gallery International [P.G.I.], Tokyo (1996), “Car Maniac”, P.G.I., Tokyo (1998), “Eureka”, P.G.I., Tokyo (2001), “Kikuji Kawada: Theatrum Mundi”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo (2003), “The Map 1960-1965”, P.G.I., Tokyo (December 2004 – February 2005), “Kikuji Kawada: Eureka/ Multigraph”,
Shadai Gallery, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Tokyo (2005), “Invisible City”, P.G.I., Tokyo (2006), “ATLAS 1998-2006”, Epsite, Tokyo (Dec. 2006 – Jan. 2007)
“New Japanese Photography”, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1974)
“Japon des Avant-Gardes 1910-1970”, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1986)
“The History of Japanese Photography”, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas (2003)