GALLERY

Ikuro Suzuki

“ TOBI · CONSTREQUIEM ”

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2013Grand Prize

ARTIST STATEMENT

TOBI · CONSTREQUIEM

Up until the age of 24, while doing various part-time jobs around my hometown of Hamamatsu, I was living mainly by expressing myself through painting, taking photos, and being in a band. But, upon casually dropping by a library and picking up Hiroh Kikai’s photo book “PERSONA,” I was shocked by butoh dancer Daisuke Yoshimoto adorning the front cover. I accompanied him on his Polish tour, which was a decisive turning point in my career.

After returning to Japan, I ended up living in the one-room apartment where my younger brother and mother lived. While working from dawn till dusk in a pub and a cafe, I would take photos of people I met around town. I had been living like that for six months when my income dropped drastically due to the March 11 earthquake. So, to continue taking photos, I decided to be a scaffolding erector, which I had been determined never to do again.
Then I moved into a dormitory in Shinjuku with just two boxes of belongings.
Five guys lived in a three-bedroom apartment, and I used the bed that had been used by a guy who had apparently run away.
I could not relax in the room, which had a partition, so every day after coming home from work I would leave right after taking a shower and go to Golden Gai. That was what led me to complete my self-produced photo book, which was my second book, absorbing me in how to take photos that place emphasis on being in a book, and how to organize them.

Right about that time, I started working nights in addition to doing day labor, and the toughest period for me also began.
As I wanted to alleviate the hardship, I asked my boss at the time if I could take photos at work. He agreed in his Akita accent. Up until then I had been taking photos during my breaks and after work, so being able to shoot while working was a big step forward.

From that point on I kept an instant camera, or a compact camera in my chest pocket while working.
As I always had a camera with me, I became attuned to changes in light.
With physical work, meals tasted great, and in a male-only workplace, girls looked very attractive. In summer, I took time off and traveled to places I had never been to before, and visited friends. While searching for a normal person's way of life, I was getting rid of trash, and piling up concrete. Using an incredible tool, photography, for expression, and living in a city itself is contradictory. Even when living in the countryside and being self-sufficient, for example, contradictions can follow you. While confronting these contradictions, I don't give in to anger, so I live by protecting the aspects of myself that need protecting by honing my senses, without regret.
Photos back this up and record the process, and my life moves forward. Every day is a repetition of strenuous and dangerous meetings and farewells.
Someday there will be a wind that I make happen, and my appearance is reflected in your eye; time will never stop, all photos are illusions, until we meet at that time.

Photos bring us back from the past to the future, and give us strength to proceed.
Thank you for courage and beauty.
Anyway, let’s just do some safe work today!

Entries form: Form of artwork : Book, color prints, 174 pages, 137items

Selecting judge: Katsumi Omori

This piece is brilliant like a mirror with a high reflectivity that reflects the real life of the artist, who is a scaffolding erector.
It is great that we can feel the temperature of the people as they live. I can feel the future potential of an attitude with which you confront reality with an honest eye with this work, which is appropriate for a debut piece. I look forward to your exhibitions.

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PROFILE

Ikuro Suzuki

1985Born in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture
Began taking photos at the age of 21
2010 Accompanied butoh dancer Daisuke Yoshimoto on his Polish tour
Moved to Tokyo after returning to Japan
2012 “Moonlit night” exhibition at Macska Bar in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai area
2013 “Sand dunes of the moon” exhibition at Sokyusha
Received an Excellence Award at the 36th New Cosmos of Photography (selected by Katsumi Omori) and won the Grand Prize at the New Cosmos of Photography 2013 Exhibition
(At the time of 2013)
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2013Grand Prize

Ikuro Suzuki

TOBI · CONSTREQUIEM

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