“In our first encounter with the photographs of Tokihiro Sato, we find a very poetic, lyrical world. Strange particles of light dispersed throughout the landscapes, cityscapes and deserted houses. Objects bathed and rimmed with light like illuminations. Perfectly still and deep, they present a single scene of light that seems to breathe.”
Artist Tokihiro Satō was born September 14, 1957 in Sakata, Yamagata Japan. Best known for his representation of light in a rhythmical pattern, such as through dance or performance art, uses long exposure photography to repeat his light forms throughout a space. He often uses a mirror to reflect light from the sun over and over at the camera, which allows him to direct the light in any form he chooses, as long as no light is actually shed on him in the process.
This procedure reveals that scenes which at first sight seem to be filled with poetic expression actually possess constructed spaces and structures. The light reflected by the mirror converges on the camera and the tracks of light link the camera with light particles. Looking just like a land surveyor, Sato walks around holding the mirror and measuring the interval between his location and the camera according to the path of the light. This is nothing other than the measurement of space.
Tokihiro Sato graduated from university in sculpture. Indeed, he first used photo- graphy in his art when he had the idea of making light tracks with a pencil torch next to a wire sculpture he had made and photographing it. In short he discovered photography by creating a sculpture through light in space.
Sato’s photographs give us a strong feeling of space, depth, and, through the artist’s process of applying light, even a sense of time. The aesthetic effect of these sensitively expressed works is certainly pleasant. However, we have to realize that if we simply stop there, we are doing no more than scratching the surface. The photographs of Tokihiro Sato breathe in an altogether deeper space.
Photo-Respiration #21, 1989
Photo-Respiration HATTACH 1 1996