Naohisa Hara’s exhibition of black and white photographs, “Europe: Journey of a Lifetime”is being held all this month.Hara has been photographing numerous scenes of European streets lined with old town buildings and their surrounding landscapes since the 1970’s. They have been shown in such exhibitions as “La France”, “Mountain Cities in Italy”, and “Espana”. His own aesthetic sensitivities and historical viewpoint coupled with his skill of large format photography have brought about the higher degree of perfection to his work.
Hara’s first visit to Paris in 1974 inspired the theme of “European cities and their relation to nature”, and he returned to the region frequently. During his 30 years of traveling in European, Hara often encountered the unexpected along the way. Sometime he would stop his car on impulse to photograph the sudden appearance of a town he was headed to fix in his memory these unforgettable tableaus.
To Hara, Paris is a city evaporating in its own smell, as if the walls were soaked with sour wine. Mediaeval cities on mountains tops in Italy still assert deep relation between men and nature. Pastoral landscapes in France and the red soil of Spain are unfolded in front of him as well. His technical and mental assignment has been to make manifest those sensations he experiences when facing these cities and nature. “Every time I gaze at an up-side-down image on the 8×10 inches ground glass before pressing the shutter”, says Hara, “I have to convince myself that this the best way of capturing the scene.”
With selected photographs of these unforgettable scenes in his European travelogue on display, the exhibition intends to trace the relation between European cities and nature.
Some 40 gelatin silver prints are displayed.