FotoFest 2010 Notes – MFAH: Hatakeyama Naoya

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) has  a huge exhibit this year for FotoFest, titled, Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH Collection”

Nearly 200 images from over 80 artists are grouped in five themes…read the Museum’s description, it will give you an idea of what you’re in store for.

I found much of the work interesting, and nice to know to fill in more of my knowledge about photography over the years, and how it has been used, but two images in particular caught my eye, along with what the artist had to say about his work.

1) Hatakeyama Naoya, “Underground #6411”

I was drawn to this image for the simplicity, beautiful lighting, and mysterious beauty of it. It was interesting to feel such a spiritual feeling from the light in a sewer tunnel. The notes written by the MFAH curator beside the image gave words to the connection I felt with  this artist and his work:

“The experience recalled the same feeling of helplessness he had felt 30 years earlier searching for a light in a cave near his home, or standing on a giant dune in the Sahara. In the darkness of the sewer system, he realized that he was the only one needing light, compelled to feel the existence of nature, the sublime.” (my bolding/italics).

My kind of guy.

Click here for the MFAH picture of the image. This excerpt from their catalog gives you a framework for Naoya’s work:

“Since the late 1980s, Hatakeyama Naoya has created interlocking series of photographs about Tokyo. He began photographing the limestone quarries from which the buildings of Tokyo are built. Then he photographed the rivers leading to and through the city, and finally, the tunnels beneath it. This picture is haunting beyond our knowledge of where it was taken. He has created a strange stage, awaiting both players and audiences.”

There is also an artist’s page on French Artnet, where there is this image, more of his work, , and a CV of the the artist reflecting the many  projects he has worked on.

You’ll see on the French Artnet page that Naoya has also explored the art of  seascapes.  His approach and sensibility speaks to me;  reflecting what I am drawn to capture in my own work….

How nice to unexpectedly find the inspiration of a kindred spirit…