Kazuhito Tanaka "GOLD SEES BLUE"

30 March - 28 April 2018

Opening reception:Friday, March 30, 18:00 - 20:00

Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present GOLD SEES BLUE, a solo show by Kazuhito Tanaka, starting Friday, March 30, 2018.
Born 1973 in Saitama, Japan, Kazuhito Tanaka graduated from Meiji University with a degree in commerce. After a stint in the corporate world, Tanaka flew to the US and graduated from the School of Visual Arts New York in 2004. His works have shown how he explores using various approaches to find new possibilities in abstract expression for photography. His creations have been shown in solo shows including Trans / Real: The Potential of Intangible Art (Gallery αM, 2017), in The Amana Collection, and as public art at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho. He currently works in both Kyoto and Saitama.
His fourth solo show at Maki Fine Arts will exhibit his "GOLD SEES BLUE" series--photographs captured by utilizing light transmitted through gold leaf. Tanaka uses gold leaf as a lens filter to take the photos, making use of the gold leaf's characteristic of allowing only blue light to pass through. These photos, dressed in the color blue with segments of gold reflected off the leaf, result in a dreamy, misty image. Tanaka explores the relationship between photograph and painting by intentionally limiting the light during capture, and therefore bringing the photos closer to the light in an attempt to make the image more abstract. When the creative process for the series began in 2009, the motifs consisted of forest landscapes, but for this solo show, Tanaka has added new works of portraits featuring family and friends.

Kazuhito Tanaka

One day nine years ago, with an instinctive belief that it could work as a filter, I placed a piece of gold leaf over my camera lens. I expected the result to be a gold-toned photo, but instead what I found was a photograph brimming with blue light.
This revelation on the characteristic of the gold leaf (reflecting gold and transmitting only blue) marked the start of the "GOLD SEES BLUE" series. From 2009 to 2010, I utilized this method and focused my efforts in shooting scenes in the forest. By limiting light and using light to color the space itself, I thought I may be able to liberate the photographs from the documentary style. It was an undertaking loaded with contradiction.
Today, I find myself once again confronting "GOLD SEES BLUE," remembering my own words describing photos liberated from the documentary style. This time, I chose portraits as the theme. I wanted to tackle this theme precisely because it is one of the themes most strongly connected to the documentary style. For my first session, I visited an artist friend. Then, I captured family members who lived close by, reaching out further to include more people. These blue portraits veiled in a misty light are not only the likeliness of the carefully-captured individual but are also representations created from light or perhaps from particles themselves in which the portraits have detached from those particular individuals.

By displaying the landscape photographs taken at the inception of the series and the phase-two portraits simultaneously, GOLD SEES BLUE re-examines the documentary style and the admiration toward paintings, both inescapable aspects existing in photographs (or perhaps existing in me).

work image

田中和人 / Kazuhito Tanaka
chromogenic print

work image

田中和人 / Kazuhito Tanaka
"GOLD SEES BLUE (Portrait)"
chromogenic print