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L'Histoire de L'Histoire.
Photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Publishing House Rikuyosha, Tokyo, 2004. 165 pp., numerous color photographs, 9¼x11¾".
The uniqueness of this book is that it is essentially an art history essay by Sugimoto illustrated with ancient art from his personal collection, interspersed with his own photography. The thesis for this project provides much needed context for the book. "Contemporary art and ancient art are like oil and water: seemingly opposite poles. Yet for the longest time now, I have found the two melding ineffably together into one, more like water and air. Living with pieces of ancient and medieval art, I have come to feel that I might borrow upon some small increment of their beauty, so as to transplant that power into my own words. Seen here are seascapes informed by both my mentor, ancient art, and that unworthy pupil, my contemporary art. The remarks that follow constitute what I have been able to learn about the various orginal pieces, embellished slightly perhaps by my imagination." The bulk of the work in this book comes from the rich history of art and handiwork in Japan, including numerous textiles and works of a sacerdotal quality; a few have been transformed by Sugimoto to include his own photographs, though most are presented without change. This book was based on an exhibition organized by Sugimoto at the Maison Herm├ęs in Japan in the Fall of 2003. Read Publisher's Description.

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