(Tokyo, 1948 - )
Lives Toyko and New York
Sugimoto captures the intangible, ephemeral and absent in his conceptual photographs. He often concentrates on a single subject for a prolonged period, resulting in a series of related images. Seascapes, movie theaters, architecture, highly detailed images of wax portraits, Buddhist sculptures and natural history dioramas are among the subjects he has explored. Among his movie theater images, Sugimoto photographed the Akron Civic Theatre on South Main Street—an image that is included in the Akron Art Museum’s collection. In 1980, the artist began his Seascape series, which was inspired by the question, “what would be the most unchanged scene on the surface of the earth?” Looking at his work encourages reflection on the nature of time, space and memory.
Sugimoto studied economics at Saint Paul’s University in Tokyo, Japan in 1970. After traveling through the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries, Sugimoto moved to the United States, where he earned a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California in 1972. In 1974, he moved to New York City and became in 1995 one of the only living photographers to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Akron Art Museum awarded Sugimoto the Knight Purchase Prize for Photographic Media in 1997 and featured his work in a solo show the following year.
In addition to his numerous awards, grants and fellowships, Sugimoto’s work is included in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Metropolitan Museum, NY, among many others. In 2006, a mid career retrospective was organized by the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.