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Hitoshi Fugo: Watchers at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

Hitoshi Fugo (born 1947), Watchers-City 6, 2008 & 2006, archival pigment print, printed 2022,
15 1/4 x 10 1/8 in. (38.9 x 25.8 cm), Edition of 10 plus 2 APs

Hitoshi Fugo: Watchers, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA
November 2-December 17, 2022

Hitoshi Fugo’s photography not only captures his subjects with surrounding realities but also inspires a new set of perspectives through his conceptual approach. This exhibition features the artist’s lesser-known color series entitled Watchers consisting of a series of head-and-shoulder portraits of an anonymous person watching a scenic view from a distance. Viewed from behind, Fugo’s camera focuses on the person’s back, leaving the scenery blurry and abstract.

Between 1994 and 2008, Fugo photographed these portraits in universally attractive sceneries such as a waterfall and a cityscape. The former were shot in Kegon Falls in Japan and Niagara Falls in Canada in the same year (1994) and the latter at the Empire State Building in New York City (2004) and the Tokyo Tower (2008) in Tokyo. These portraits are presented in pairs in single frames: Kegon vis a vis Niagara; Tokyo Tower vis a vis the Empire State Building). These pairs seem to be random combinations but similar in gender and age. These contrasts, apparent or nuanced, urge the viewer to further engage in comparisons and the rear-view portraitures allow the viewer to enter into the spiritual realms surrounded by the spectacle.

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