Photographs by Taiji Matsue.
Kerber, Bielefeld, 2006. 68 pp., 40 duotone illustrations, 6x8¼".
Anyone who has clicked through from Google
Maps to a satellite image of his or her destination
will grasp immediately the appeal of Tokyo-born
Taiji Matsue’s photographs, which look down from
high points in natural and manmade landscapes.
The artist is a geologist by training, and his work
examines the skin of the earth, with no horizon
and no form other than the undulating shapes
beneath it and the tracery of roads, buildings,
plants and people on it. Matsue observes houses,
farms, construction sites, wetlands and cities
from perches tens to hundreds of feet above
street level. His low-contrast, black-and-white
prints are neither spectacular nor picturesque;
he refuses to dramatize the moment or the view.
That unpretentious perception of the landscape
enjoys special status among his circle, a group
of young Japanese photographers making a name
for themselves around the world, as it will among
readers and collectors.
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