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With pleasure IBASHO announces a solo exhibition of the Japanese photographer Motohiro Takeda. Takeda’s forte lies in camera-less photography. 

When studying at Parsons, The New School For Design in New York, Takeda became fascinated by the camera obscura and the idea of being inside the camera. He transformed his bedroom into a camera obscura by blocking all the windows with black plastic sheets, making a pinhole in the plastic and started living in this camera obscura. As he spent more and more time in the camera, he started to understand what it was and what it meant for him to be there. Then, he gradually started making self-portraits on multiple sheets of chromogenic paper, resulting in very large orange/red coloured unique works of 2.5 x 2.5 meters. One of these works is exhibited at IBASHO. Exposure time sometimes lasted for a couple of hours. The orange/red colour is the colour of the sunlight as registered by the chromogenic paper and white silhouettes represent the force of life presented in the human shape.

A discovery by Takeda of an accidental registration of the sun on the photographic paper hanging in his apartment led to a series called ‘Another Sun’, which series can be seen at IBASHO. Takeda realised he wanted to create a series around the source of the creation of his large portraits, following the cycle of the seasons. This series reflects the changes in nature as well as the changes in Takeda’s personal life. 

‘Blink/Matataki’ is Takeda’s latest series on show at IBASHO in which he has used curtains or veils to deepen his concept of the camera obscura. To Takeda the camera obscura is a metaphor of our perception and how we see the outside world and process it with our mind and consciousness. The pinhole or the window is the eye that serves as a passage of light to look out the world outside and at the same time, bring them into one’s inner space. In this series of work, the existence of the two spaces which merge and separate simultaneously and seamlessly to each other are symbolised by the ghosty image of the curtains. Curtain is a metaphor of the eyelids which veils and unveils the world in front of you. As a whole, this series is meant to provide the viewers with a sensation of Matataki, which means ‘a flickering of bright lights’ in Japanese that will be burnt into the back of their eyelids.

Takeda’s body of work was created in a camera obscura. Many of them are unique prints as they were directly exposed by the sunlight in a room on a light sensitive paper. Some are contact printed from original paper negatives and some are photographed with a camera. They all possess the “natural magic” inherited from the time that photography was invented.