Skip to main content

MIYAKO YOSHINAGA Presents Hitoshi Fugo: KAMI


Hitoshi Fugo, KAMI 1, 2001, gelatin silver print, printed in 2022, 21 3/8 x 16 7/8 in (54.3 x 42.9 cm), edition of 10 plus 2 artist’s proofs, series: KAMI, titled, signed, and numbered on verso

Hitoshi Fugo: KAMI
On view through June 1, 2024

MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present their final exhibition, KAMI by Hitoshi Fugo, before the gallery closes its door to the public on its 25th anniversary. They will continue representing their artists with further announcements being made after June.

Japanese photographer Hitoshi Fugo (b. 1947)’s still-life studies explore a single subject’s nuanced multi-faceted expressions until the subject becomes detached from its category, meaning, or identity. He commits to an ongoing experimentation in dismantling these boundaries. This exhibition features one of his most ambitious yet long-silenced projects entitled KAMI. Paper in Japanese is kami, a homonym of god. The artist gave the title, KAMI, to this body of work, implying the absence of god in today’s destructive world.

In 1993, Fugo salvaged a large burnt paper roll from a printing factory destroyed by fire and brought it back to his studio. It had been sitting in the corner for eight years before he began photographing it at each stage and progress of destruction, sometimes adding new physical forces such as cutting through a thick wall of paper with a chainsaw, investigating the violence lurking within himself. The result was an unsettling yet fascinating visual rhapsody consisting of 31 black-and-white images that delved into the essence of paper, with its cut and burnt surfaces powerfully exposed.

In 2023, he attempted to document the end of that life cycle by burning the paper roll again on the shore, imagining its particles flying into the air like feathers peeling away. But this was not possible due to the weather. This series, in which he tried to capture the paper’s transformation by an irresistible external force, was shown only once in Japan in 2001 and has never been shown overseas until now. This exhibition includes 11 images from the series, two of which were photographed in 2023 of the same paper roll.

To learn more and view the works, click here.