Colours of Shadow

Interview by Jovian Lim
Photography by Tadzio

How would you describe your creative process? What is the moment of creation?

I decided to use virtually obsolete Polaroid film to photograph the spans between colours. An instant camera to capture the ever changing light. Indeed, colours from the prism vary from moment to moment: it only takes a few minutes for red to turn orange and then yellow. It took me 10 years to design the space and create the prism system to work in very high quality and to complete Colours of Shadow. From late 2009 to the beginning of 2010, I woke up every morning at 5:30am to observe the quality and clarity of air.

The artwork Colours of Shadow is a kind of observational apparatus. In fact, these present observations of mine were begun 350 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton. With neither Newton’s cool, dispassionate arithmetic gaze on nature nor Goethe’s warm poetic reflexivity, I employed my own photographic devices toward a Middle Way.

Couleurs de l'Ombre hiroshi sugimoto

Couleurs de l’Ombre

Please describe your working relationship with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the Artistic Director of Hermès.

Hermès opened my eyes to a broader way of seeing things. My History of History exhibition at the Hermès gallery space in Tokyo was the first exhibition in which I displayed my artwork alongside my collection of antiquities. It completely changed the way I think about my art and exhibition style. Pierre-Alexis has a great deal of respect for artists, craftsmen and history.

Your work for Hermès Éditeur speaks of patience, how did you marry your personal heritage with Hermès’ own philosophy?

The Japanese and French have always had an interest in each other’s culture; it was a very natural partnership.

Are there places and cities that inspire you most?

The sea.

Read more in The U Press N˚1 (Singapore edition).