The blooms of lotuses in Shinobazuno-ike pond in Ueno, Tokyo, are at their best from the end of June through mid-August, and Pink pedals, opening against large green leaves, can be observed close-up on both sides of Benten Bashi bridge.
Halfway through August the blooms decreasing in number, while the leaves grow bigger and stronger. Ito waits for a shower in this particular time to see the rainwater collecting on the leaves. In the bright summer mornings, after a heavy fall of big rain drops peculiar to this season, he makes his way to the bridge with an imagination filled with images of leaves layered with rain drops.
“The surface of rainwater on the leave is slightly convex and shines brightly, reflecting the sunbeams. The water changes its form to the shape of the leave, and it moves irregularly in the wind and the sun dances in it,” says the photographer, and continues “the lotuses attract rainwater and show constantly changing expressions.”
One day they blew through the stem to the bottom of the water on the leaves, and kept sending up bubbles, one after another. Ito watched and recorded the course of this phenomenon in the summer of 2001. Bubbles of Lotus, shown here, were photographed during that time.
As the second work in his ‘Patrone series’, they were photographed mainly from a fixed-point of observation. The prints were torn into pieces to reconstruct mosaic images with the fragments. Inspired by traditional Japanese picture scrolls, with their manifestation of time and space, he created his own way of photographic presentation, different from that of usual collages.
The more than 20 photogrpahs on display are all originals. There are from single frame photographs to mosaic images with fragments as many as 20 are joined together in a rectangular format.
Representative photographs from his ‘KUMO’, ’SHIKAKU’, and ‘KAGE’ series are exhibited at the same time to see in retrospect the transition of his photographic observation since 1980.
Born in Yamagata, Japan in 1951 and graduated from the Tokyo College of Photography in 1977.
His works are unique contact sheets taken with a half-frame camera in which individual frames come together to form a whole image on each sheet, expressing the invisible time and consciousness shared between himself and his subjects. He has also been exhibiting his ongoing Patrone series since 2000 using a different method in which he takes slivers of time and condenses them into a single restructured image.
Exhibitions at PGI
|In the Box, 2017|
|Bubbles of Lotus, 2004|
|On the Shadow, 1998|
|Wind and Snail, 1996|
|Contact Prints: To Observe and Continue to Observe, 1994|