Edition 2013

Hiroshi Sugimoto

COULEURS DE L’OMBRE

From late 2009 to the beginning of 2010, my daily routine saw me rise at 5:30 every morning. First thing, I would check for hints of light dawning above the eastern horizon. If the day promised fair weather, next I would sight the ‘morning star’ shining to the upper right of the nascent dawn. Only then did I ready my old Polaroid camera and start warming up a film pack from the long winter night chill. Sunlight travels through black empty space, strikes and suffers my prism, and refracts into an infinite continuum of colour. In order to view each hue more clearly, I devised a mirror with a special micro-adjusting tilting mechanism. Projecting the coloured beam from a prism onto my mirror, I reflected it into a dim observation chamber where I reduced it to Polaroid colours. Of course, I could further split those prismatic colours by adjust- ing the angle of that long tall mirror so as to reflect only the hue I want. I could split red into an infinity of reds. Especially when juxtaposed against the dark, each red appears wondrous unto itself. Moreover, colours change constantly. As the sun climbs on its arc, the colours from the prism vary moment by moment. It only takes a few minutes for red to turn orange then yellow. Cranking the worm gear by hand to adjust the mirror angle to compensate for the rising sun, I managed to keep the colour band within my field of vision. I thought I had finished this project, but I availed myself of the opportunity to buy up the last existing stocks of expired Polaroid film from the final ebb of production. Consistently clear Tokyo winter mornings found me swimming in a sea of colours. Hiroshi Sugimoto

Exhibition organised with the support of Hermès and the Japan Foundation. Exhibition venue: Église Saint-Blaise.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Pernot Ricard
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture