Keiichi Tahara

Dates: Sep 11 – Oct 26, 2014
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography Paris
Opening reception: Thursday, Sep 11, 16:00 – 21:30
Book signing: Saturday, Sep 13, 16:00-

For the beginning of September 2014, Taka Ishii Gallery Paris is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Keiichi Tahara, an important Japanese photographer and designer of light. In this exhibition, we present a selection of works from his two important series, “Fenêtre” (1973-1980) and “Eclat” (1979-1983), for which Tahara received much attention in the early stages of his career.

Keiichi Tahara was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1951. After making some short films in Japan, he joined a theatrical company and travelled with them to Paris to attend their performance. Ever since his arrival in Europe at the age of 21, light has been his major interest. He once said The light of Japan, always veiled, has nothing in common with that of France, which is very sharp. And I’m convinced the nature of the light has an incidence on the landscape, the people and even the language spoken. Opting for an artistic approach, in particular photography, his quest has been to reconstruct the effects of light and shadow in France, where Tahara lived for 36 years.

From the 1970s, he made several series of photography. The most well-known among them is “Fenêtre,” with which he received the Grand Prix of The Rencontres d’Arles in 1977. A young man set apart from the world due to the language and cultural barrier, he turned to the window of his room. With this classic, voluntarily banal frame, Tahara looks at the light that discloses what can be seen through the window. Here, we are not invited to look at an object but look through an object, while never stopping that object from being seen. His desire to capture the form of the light grew within this tiny room.

In an ancestral tradition of Japan, (…) it’s always a matter of a shift, transition and modulation of intensity. Inside and outside, white and black, nature and culture do not remain antagonistic to each other, but are positioned as the extension of one another. This also applies to the works of Keiichi Tahara.[1] says French philosopher Félix Guattari. With the “Eclat” series, the eyes of the artist turn to face the inside of his room. Through the choice of subjects―a misted window and dingy wall, and of light―diffused, diffracted and contre-jour, Keiichi Tahara modulates grained surfaces, depths and transparencies. This series considerably features the mobility of the floating gaze that “drifts into space”.

Tahara considers light as a tangible material, which has a certain thickness and consistency. Through the materialization and the crystallization of luminous photons, he tries to perceive and to transcribe the traces of light, a sedimentary layer of the past.

1. Félix Guattari, “Les machinations de lumiere de Keiichi TAHARA”, KEIICHI TAHARA Transparent, Galerie de France, 1989

Concurrent Exhibition
Retrospective exhibition of Keiichi Tahara “Sculpteur de lumière”
Dates: Sept 10 to Nov 2
Location: Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

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