Lisson Gallery

Hiroshi Sugimoto: 'Mt Fuji' at Art Basel Unlimited

11 June 2024

At Art Basel Unlimited, Lisson Gallery is pleased to present a major new photographic work by Hiroshi Sugimoto in collaboration with Fraenkel Gallery. Renowned as a master of black and white photography, Mt Fuji (2022) marks a rare foray into colour, presentsingan epic panorama transferred directly via pigment print onto 12 washi paper partitions that create a traditional Japanese folding screen or byōbu, complete with specially crafted hinges. This format, typical also in Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese cultures, allows for a breadth of image unachievable in any other medium, marrying a functional barrier that suggests retreat, modesty or reflection with an immersive experience akin to entering or walking through the actual scene depicted.

In addition to the work’s expansive, horizontal picture plane, which encourages viewers to ‘step into’ the landscape, there is the stark verticality and iconic silhouette of Mount Fuji sitting majestically to one side. Sugimoto here takes inspiration from the inky and atmospheric qualities of Katsushika Hokusai’s Red Fuji (also titled South Wind, Clear Sky or Gaifū kaisei), which was part of his famous series of prints, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1830-32). Travelling from west to east, this particular view not only captures the mountain at first light with the sun’s blaze of red and orange rays peeking out from the horizon, but also hints at the volcanic potential of Fuji, which was once matched in height by Mount Hakone before its summit was destroyed more than 180,000 years ago.

The form of Mount Fuji is suggested in Sugimoto’s earlier mathematical sculpture, Surface of Revolution with Constant Negative Curvature (2006), in which two converging parabolic lines, expressed as f(x)=1/x^{2}, get closer and closer but never meet, extending on for infinity.

Film by Jon Lowe.

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