Shadows are fascinating to me. They exist where light exists. They always follow people, sometimes enormous, sometimes small, sometimes lighter or darker. Shadows are always with us, close by, touching. They grow as people grow and disappear when the person they followed passes away. From their creation to the moment of their destruction, objects also have their private shadows.
I am attracted to the mysteriousness of shadow. In a way, shadows can be seen as reflections of the human consciousness; they seem to change to match our deepest feelings. A shadow has width and depth into which it draws passer-bys with a gentle, cooling gesture. The immeasurable width of a shadow seeks out the incomprehensible universe; the shadow's depth rolls out as the roaring sea of imagination.
Shadows know no limit. They invite imagination to wild trips even in their most monochrome formats. Where light hits surfaces, shadows are sharp and strong but where there is a lack of light shadows lazily define their existence. When printing a photo, determining the level of darkness can be a trial.
For the paper onto which to print my images I created heavy sheets of Japanese paper (a kind of rice paper). It has taken me over ten years to develop my skills in printing onto irregular surfaces. Weather, temperature and humidity all affect printing. For example, it is almost impossible to print during the hottest summer or the coldest winter day.
I dye each heavy sheet of paper with colors from tree barks and treat it with emulsion. Emulsion is applied to some areas darker than others.
Although in photography it is the norm to produce multiple prints, I only do one of each. To achieve the best result, I normally have to try five or six times. The creation of a work takes about a month. Only a few works can be made in a year.
I use thick paper so that the shadows can have more depth. However, because of the thickness of the paper, the color does not keep on the surface but keeps soaking deeper into the paper. This makes it hard to create black. In fact, it is very hard to create anything to look like I initially imagined. But that's the way I like it - as a challenge.
Often, my photos depict churches. They offer a certain silence of the universe, width and depth for the shadows to rest.
I like to think of my work as creating unique paintings through photography.
The world of light and shadow
The world where we feel silence and warmth
The moment when something sparks in the heart
I feel this moment and the eye of my camera seizes it
My gratefulness extends out as a small, silent prayer
 Home  |  Contact Info
© 2013 Sumio Inoue. All Rights Reserved.