Kozo Miyoshi is one of the representative contemporary photographers in Japan. He began to take photographs of views fascinating to him with an 8×10-inch camera in 1981, and has made series of works more than quarter century. The work captured children standing in the view of every region of Japan: “Innocents” (1985), captured ordinary yet fascinating views to him in Japan: “Picture Show” (1987), and captured greenhouses in Japan: “Conservatory” in 1989, etc., there are masterpieces remain in viewer’s heart. He continues to make several photography travels in Japan and pursues his own photography with an 8×10-inch camera. Those impressive works such as “Sakura” (2003), “Seagirt” (2004), and “Tokyo Drive” (2006) are well known.
“Travels deliver my photographs”, says Miyoshi. Driving his car, he travels all over the country and takes photographs when he comes across what fascinating to him, setting his 8×10-inch large format camera quickly. He totally continues to photograph by the large format camera more than a quarter of century. “These moments will never move on, but time passes and the views change. I will keep traveling”, says Miyoshi. He exposes what he sees, “change of time” underlay deep into the Japanese climate and “spiritual feeling” of people in Japan also appear in his photographs. These photographs reverberate through viewers’ subconscious awareness and bring comfortable sense of tension and calmness.
It is said that 8×10-inch negative is large enough for contact printing, however, Miyoshi preferred to enlarge images to 20×24-inch size rather than contact printing from the beginning of using 8×10-inch camera. “In my darkroom, I set a sheet film in a negative carrier of a huge enlarger, and the image is enlarged through the lens. Adjusting focusing and I stop it just when silver grain of film can be slightly seen or not, that is at the right scale of enlargement is available. 20×24-inch is just the size. This is what the real thrill of photography.” says Miyoshi. The height of piles of thousands of negatives is higher than his height now.
The exhibition “Somewhere, Sometime” was a selection of images around the country in Japan from these huge volumes of negatives. The breathtaking 40 gelatin silver prints are shown.
Born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, 1947. Graduated from the Department of Photography, Nihon University, 1971. Stayed in Arizona, U.S.A., 1991- 1996. Living in Tokyo at present.
Selected recent one-person exhibitions: “Tokyo Drive” Photo Gallery International (P.G.I.) (2006), “Seagirt” P.G.I. (2004), “SAKURA” P.G.I. (2003), “CAMERA” P.G.I. (2002), “Tokyo Street” P.G.I. (1999), “Far East and Southwest: The Photography of Kozo Miyoshi” Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson (1994).
Public Collection: National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. and others.