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Wednesday, 27 February 2013 15:14

Light Play

Hiroshi Sugimoto's latest art work is all about Optical Interplay. And it took him 10 years to complete it.


Sugimoto’s creations

Sugimoto’s creations are translated into 20 scarves, each in a limited edition of seven.

It’s hard to describe exactly what artist Hiroshi Sugimoto does. Born and raised in Tokyo, 65-year-old Sugimoto left for Los Angeles in 1972 where he pursued an art degree from the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles. Upon his graduation, he moved to New York where he is now based.

Best known for his stylised photography of movie theatres, seascapes and natural-history dioramas, to name a few, Sugimoto’s work constantly questions the relationship between space and time, imagination and reality, past and present, a contemporary expression that’s pretty much in line with luxury house Hermès’ vision. Which is why Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, invited Sugimoto to take part in the third edition of creating a vision for Hermès’ silk square. (German-born American painter Josef Albers was the first to collaborate with Hermès in 2008, and French Conceptualist Daniel Buren followed in 2010.)

In town recently for the opening of Couleurs De L’more or Colours of Shadow (it was first unveiled at the Museum der Kulturen, in June 2012, during the Art Basel international fair), Sugimoto shared that this project took more than 10 years before it came to fruition. Inspired by the scientific experiments of Isaac Newton and Goethe, he took Polaroids of the morning light passing through a clear crystal prism, projected onto the white walls of his studio. The result? Twenty scarves, each 140cm by 140cm and in a limited edition of seven, are now exhibited at Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

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