ABOUT HASHi EXHIBITION COMMITEE

  • Masanori Aoyanagi | Director, National Museum of Western Art

    Masanori Aoyanagi | Director, National Museum of Western Art

     

    "It is extremely difficult to express by words, yet it is a nostalgic feeling that everyone has in the deep part of my heart."

    This is what I came to my mind when I saw HASHIGRAPHY for the first time.

    When I first met HASHi (Hashimura Shigenobu), we soon got into a spirit. Absolutely, it is inevitable to say that encounters with HASHi are not easy things like spirituality, and there were something close to the impact.

    I am involved in work excavation work on my own. In criticizing art, touching numerous masterpieces already widely recognized all over the world, it is worth it, but it has not been discovered by anyone yet, I myself knew nothing in the past The pleasure of meeting new things is more exciting than words can say. I want to meet that pleasure, I can say that I continue excavation work. In that sense, it is not an exaggeration to say that encounter with HASHi and HASHIGRAPHY is equivalent to excavating unknown art for me.

    As an advertising photographer, the entity of HASHi, which has already built a high reputation in the world, is a pure creator to the last, and the unique axis of life, centered on the horizontal axis of the magnificent theme "time" and "mono" HASHi's pursuit of the way of photographs as fine art in the vertical axis of view · view of the world goes beyond the so-called secular range that it is active in the world, and is no longer a "photograph road" I feel that it is reaching extreme. I myself took pictures and I have been seeing countless photographic works in the past, but I have never seen works full of originality.

    Through HASHIGRAPHY, HASHi reminds us of the scene that people living in the future of 3000 AD are viewing their work, and at the moment we see the work that will be reflected in their eyes It is "reproduced" as living in the 21st century. Moreover, many of the subjects which are the prototypes of those works inevitably make the past feel like the Roman ruins and the old Parisian streets. In other words, understanding can also be understood that it is the origin of HASHIGRAPHY to inherit the past subjects to the future through contemporary creative work through photographs. There is a common work in the excavation work of the ruins, such as telling the past things to the future via the passing point of the present age. For example, among the ruins of Roman times, one of the most famous, Pompeii in the southern part of Naples is a city buried under the eruption of Mount Vesuvi in 1979, but due to years of excavation efforts, The ruins are now open to the public, and most of the remains are exhibited in the National Museum of Naples. Visiting Pompei, we see the appearance of an ancient city in Italy 2000 years ago, we think of various things living in modern times. We will first grasp visually the numerous "past" such as the buildings of the water and the Justice Department, the shopping street, the mansion house, the common residence, seen in the ruins, in the form inspired by it, soon the mind will be 2000 I think of the old times that are said to have time slipping before the year and having a population of approximately 25,000 people. Also, those ruins will be preserved as important historical objects and probably will be kept unchanged in the same place as it is now, 1000 years after now, people who visited the same place To imagine the prosperity of Pompeii and the state of the eruption 3000 years ago.

    HASHIGRPHY is bold and delicate. Imagine that your work will be appreciated after 100 years from now rather than 100 years later, and the method of reflecting it in creative work is fresh, innovative, bold and superb. On the other hand, the style of having textures like weathered photographs and tones like ink paintings sometimes gently appeal, sometimes marking the viewer's eyes with tremendous energy. Both of them contain unique delicacy that can only be produced by HASHi, which has been facing "objects" for a long time. Its subtlety is such a feeling that, through photographs, the essence of subjects as "objects" overflows.

    HASHIGRAPHY is made with a totally different approach from HASHi's masterpiece "action · Still Life" which frozen the world of one hundred thousandths of a second as "eternal instant". The existence of HASHi, who is absorbed in creative activities while interpreting the theme of "time" equally given to everyone, with different spans, and which is stepping up his / her photography path, is expected not only in Japan but also in the future It has such a feeling that gives a big influence on fine art scene of. Considering only Japan, now, as excellent talent continues to flow out from Japan to overseas, decades ago, I found a stage to persuade my own will in the world, called success The move of HASHi, which is going to be introduced in home country / Japan with a souvenir, is a welcome thing, from which I think many things modern Japanese learn.

    HASHi and I are about the same, generations. I graduated from a Japanese university, studied abroad in Rome, I came to the current position by walking along the path of scholars and researchers. On the other hand, HASHi left for the United States nakedly and won the American dream. This time, we can not help feeling what is fateful when two people who were originally different fields met. It is supposed to be involved in the work related to excavation from now on with HASHi, and how he meets him will change my life as a scholar in the "Excavation of me" I am looking forward to it from now on that the result will change to a new work.

     

  • Yu Aku | Songwriter

    Yu Aku | Songwriter

     

    The camera today is a different animal. Today it is easy to take pictures. Today anyone can be a photographer. Is this a good thing? Yes in many ways it is... at the same time, I am not so sure.

     

    In the 80’s and 90’s it was a much more involved endeavour, to be a photographer. And to be sure, there is a difference between taking a picture and truly capturing a moment. Hashi has a unique understanding of the camera, of photography. Hashi captures time itself.

    Is it a good thing? I will try to answer this question with my own experience. Turning points are various in life, in work and in the culture. On May 3rd 1968, as Hashi was leaving Japan for America, I was in college and Rock and Roll was the big thing. Then when when I left, Television became popular, and as I became a freelancer in the real world the beatles became the centre of the music world's focus. The waves of time carry with them change but some things stay the same.

  • Gerald L. Curtis | Professor of Columbia University

    Gerald L. Curtis | Professor of Columbia University

     

    I have been friends with Hashi for more than twenty years. He came to New York knowing no one there and owning no possessions other than his determination to be a great photographer. He has had a remarkable career, becoming one of the most successful and respected photographers in the United States. Hashi is both a commercial photographer and an artist. His work is unique in its beauty and in the way it draws on both his Japanese background and his long experience living in the United States. Hashi’s insatiable curiosity and enthusiasm for life and for art gives his work a special vitality and richness that is immediately communicated to the viewer. Hashi speaks through his art in a universal voice that everyone, whether Japanese or American or from some other culture, can appreciate and enjoy.

     

  • Richard Collasse | President of CHANEL Co., Ltd.

    Richard Collasse | President of CHANEL Co., Ltd.

     

    This cameraman has succeeded in doing something that Einstein himself could not accomplish, that is, mastering the speed of light. This is the kind of statement that comes to mind when I think of the work of Hashi. With his incredible ability to transfix and render that which our eyes cannot see, he is a master of speed. Effortlessly he captures the split fraction of a second when an object hits its target, a drop of water explodes or a piece of glass shatters beyond its original form. He does this scientific work with the eye of the artist, stopping time in a world where colors are suspended vivid, vibrant and perfect. Hashi is a true master of speed and color.

  • Yoshiharu Fukuhara | Former Director, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Honorary Chairman Shiseido

    Yoshiharu Fukuhara | Former Director, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Honorary Chairman Shiseido

     

    "If you go to New York, please go to see Hashi.” said Mr Kubota, director of the leading advertising agency Dentsu. At that time, I was a foreign director of Shiseido.

    Mr. Kubota was an expert in talent discovery. Many celebrities who have become major now were picked up by his network. Moreover, he had a an almost magical ability to tie that found talent to someone who needed a particular service.

     

    In New York I heard it again "Have you met Hashi? Do you know who he is?" Mr. Kubota said that “Yes, Hashi was a real name; Yasuomi Hashimura”. He was very active in the front lines of advertising photography in New York, and If I were to meet him, he would be of great help.

     

    When I contacted him in New York, Hashi, he told me to come to the studio so he could take my portrait. When I arrived at the studio, I can’t remember whether it was Linhoff or Hasselblad, but he quickly  took a shot of me with a short focus lens. This was to become my first large size portrait. Eventually a presentation on his current work began as he showed me in quick succession all he had been working on. Smirnoff's Vodka and other advertising photos, as well as a piece of a “Rainbow in Space” adopted as a memorial stamp by the United Nations. Although I did not know it at that time, he was also responsible for commercial photography jobs with Shiseido America, who had less advertising budget at that time. He told me that he would like to take my picture from now on and how everyone he takes a portrait of goes on to become very successful. But as it turned out I was unfortunately unable to make it out the following year, or the year after. I thought the series of portraits was going to end with that single shot.

     

     

    Twenty years later Hashi appeared out of the blue in Tokyo. And this time he wielded digital cameras like a sword and continued to shoot rapid-fire as if brandishing a machine gun. After taking pictures, we talked about what he was up to and what how he planned to put out a book. The portrait prints were sent on, and  my appearance had changed very much over the past two decades of life.

     

    Twenty years later, my first impressions of him had not changed. In immediate appearance he still resembles a stubborn boy, yet it is certain that he had matured. The quality of his portfolio had continued to grow and develop with staggering variety. And still I could tell he would go on to do a lot more. I thought, this would be an energy source, inspiration to make the next series. Hashi uses incredibly sophisticated techniques in his work, but he is not just a technician. His approach is supported by a tremendous intuition, and it is that imagination that really shines through in his work.

     

    In autumn 2006, Hashi will hold a solo exhibition at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. As well as showing Hashi's photographic achievements up to the present day it will also cast light on the direction of his future creative endeavours.

     

    He landed in the advertising industry in New York among fierce competition nearly 40 years ago. Not only did he throw himself out there, but he built up a firm position as a leading creator and continues to develop even now, reaching the age of 60. Things currently may feel less bright for modern day Japanese society since the collapse of the bubble. But I feel Hashi is like a bright beacon, just waiting to be discovered anew by the Japanese public. He will be caught in their hearts I am convinced.

     

  • Ooide Kazuhiro | SUN Design Institute Representative / Fashion Producer

    Ooide Kazuhiro | SUN Design Institute Representative / Fashion Producer

     

    Art is difficult to evaluate because everyone has their own aesthetic sense. Critics say various things, but I am a simple human who decides everything with my own intuition from the very moment I see it. "I like," I "dislike" or I "do not care".

     

    Hashi’s work is a "like". It is easy to understand and has impact. Even if there is no accompanying text, the work tells you everything you need to know. Sometimes I see a work of art that I might like, then I meet the artist and we talk. But if I do not like the conversation I may in switch to disliking the work. I had been an admirer of Hashi’s work for a long time and didn’t have any particular interest in meeting him. Alas, our paths eventually crossed and I found that even though he had left Japan and been living in the United States for about 40 years, he was still very much an old Japanese character. I could talk to him with simple clarity and real intention. Of course I liked him more than the works and since then he has felt more like a family member.

     

  • Seitaro Kuroda | Artist

    Seitaro Kuroda | Artist

     

    This book and exhibition shows us how life is for Hashi living in New York.

  • Shigeaki Saegusa | Composer

    Shigeaki Saegusa | Composer

     

     

    When viewing the photos of Yasuomi “Hashi” Hashimura it is pretty natural to feel a sense of mystery, surprise and a fluttering of the heart. There are various photographers in the world with various approaches, but among them all the work of Mr. Hashimura is unique in its sheer transparency and vivid sharpness. There is no vagueness to be seen. Everything is clear. And in this way I feel it is also somewhat intimidating. Whether landscape, people, still life or advertisement Mr. Hashimura's attitude is consistent, capturing whatever material, for whatever purpose, he captures its very essence. They live, flow, and move. To catch a moment of infinite movement and to fix it in place: If that is the effort or origin of photography, one need no look no further than Hashimura’s work. It is what I would call "momentary eternity", that which can only be expressed in the form of photographs. What Mr. Hashimura captures is living, flowing and moving even in it’s final fixed form. When I see a finished work I see the a frozen object move and this is intimidating. Hashimura is the only photographer who can do such a thing.

     

    The upcoming HASHI exhibition will be a compilation of Mr. Hashimura's work thus far. I greatly look forward to this exhibition, but I also feel the fear. Why is that? Because I think that I will be frozen too unless I prepare, spiritually, for the encounter. No other photographer has made me feel this way.

     

  • Keisuke Nagatomo | Art Director

    Keisuke Nagatomo | Art Director

     

    I better call him Hashi. He may get angry if I refer to him as Mr. Hashimura. Although, either way, it is very hard to tell his nationality. Why is this? I am told he is from Japan, and when I meet him face to face I see that he is not second or third generation. What is it? Has he been living in America too long? No, I don’t think so. Maybe it is something to do with how he resembles someone from the Edo, Meiji or Taisho periods? That presence, that behaviour. He has that old face. He has the appearance of the Samurai.

     

    Hashi has been very kind to me and I must thank him for that. I feel like he is a relative. However to say such things about a relative, a brother, carries with it the risk of praising oneself. That is not the intention. I see him as a lone wolf and a swordsman. He is like a Saurai, not just in appearance but in spirit. If you replace the sword with a camera you may start to get an image of Hashi in your head.

     

    When Hashi smiles it is somewhat unusual. You see a big expression but his eyes themselves are not smiling. They are locked, examining, like a fierce tiger. He is always on. He is both physically and spiritually resolute. I think this quality is very important for an artist, a prerequisite for an expressionist, if you will. This is a quality of the Samurai.

  • Wahei Tatematsu | Writer

    Wahei Tatematsu | Writer

     

    In the world of Zen, it is called "Keisei Sanshoku” or “The Sounds of Valley Streams, the Forms of Mountains”. Here, at the birthplace of a river, “Tanigawa” contains Buddha's characteristic of constantly speaking the truth, and the shape of this mountain is that of Buddha as he preaches the truth. In other words, all the natural phenomena surrounding us is truth, and the truth is felt everywhere. We see and we hear but we do not often feel this truth. However, the work of Hashi cuts through this phenomenon and shows us, in our time, the real state of things.

     

    By showing us this momentary appearance, we may realize that we are living on a very rich plane. What a fantastic thing it is, how lively it is. This moment takes up an infinite volume of time and shows us pure eternity. We live, surrounded by eternity.

     

    “Matter as void” is to make a phenomenon, a thing inside the empty space, to capture the momentary phase of things as truth. HASHi 's job of exposing it in photographs and disclosing the truth before us can be said to be "Void as matter". When everything is fleeting Hashi shows us the opposite. His work is an exciting roundtrip of phenomena and truth.

     

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