Eiichiro Sakata is active in the field of editorial photography and well known as a photographer of portraits for the front cover of major weekly magazine in Japan.
It was soon after his graduation from university that the new wave of American photography came over to Japan in the middle of 1960’s, and people had interests in the American photographs in no small part.
Sakata had a chance to be an assistant to Richard Avedon who came to Japan in 1965 on an assignment for Vogue. It was valuable experience for him to travel together with Avedon for one month as an assistant. Newly published photograph book “Nothing Personal” that Avedon brought to Japan was very impressive to him. Sakata got to hope to work at Avedon Studio in New York, and upon receiving a letter from Avedon saying that “Come by soon” Sakata flew over to New York. It was in the summer of 1966. The first one year, he was sedulous to make contact prints of Avedon’s decades of work in the darkroom. He later was able to be in the studio, he became in charge of development of both color and black & white film, as well as rough printing in the darkroom. Among famous people who Sakata met at the studio, there was a photographer, Diane Arbus.
On Saturdays and Sundays, national holidays as well, when the studio was perfectly off, Sakata walked around in Manhattan with his camera. Everything he saw in the melting pot was interesting and new to him. He wanted to photograph people at the Times Square. It was in autumn of 1966 that he began to photograph people there. From 1968 to 69, Sakata went to see the people at the Times Square almost everyday, and he got chance to photograph people asking “Just Wait.” There were fortunate flash of encounters of a young man from the East and people who agreed to be photographed upon his request, and there was Sakata in his youth to rush toward future. Those portraits of 40 years ago are the starting point for his numerous portrait works at present.
Some 40 gelatin silver prints of people at the Times Square, newly printed, are shown at the exhibition.
Born in 1941. Graduated from the department of photography, College of Art, Nihon University. Studied with Richard Avedon in New York, 1966-70. Since 1970, freelance photographer. He is active in the field of editorial photography and well known as a photographer of portraits for the front cover of “AERA” weekly magazine.
Awards: Domon Ken Award, 2005. Photographer Award, Photographic Society of Japan, 2005. Arles Citizen of Honor Award, 1993.
“Piercing the Sky”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2004), “amaranth”, Shinjuku Park Tower Gallery (1995), and others.