LONDON.- The Michael Hoppen Gallery
is presenting Sohei Nishino's new series of Diorama Maps. Comprising of the following cities: Berlin, New Delhi, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Bern. Nishino has been internationally lauded for his beautifully crafted Dioramas, and earlier cities such as London and New York are now found in important private and museum collections around the world.
The project is a joyous mixture of photography and cartography, inspired in part by the 18th century Japanese map-maker Ino Tadataka. To make his Diorama Maps, Sohei Nishino spends months in a city, exploring its many vantage points. During this time he shoots thousands of pictures, which he then painstakingly hand-prints, trims to size, and compiles into huge tableaux collages from which he issues the limited edition photographic prints in two sizes. The effect is not a traditional birds-eye view but a wonderfully fragmented, enlightened way of seeing three dimensions in one plane.
Nishino's more recent maps see his talent and skill much matured. They have all the detail and playfulness of his earlier Dioramas, and now also added elements, such as his insertion of colour photographs into the mix - for instance the carnival scene in Bern, or the many faces of his friends in New Delhi, thus further evoking the vibrancy of the places he depicts.
Not geographically accurate, but stamped with the mark of a wanderer of the city, Sohei says of his Diorama Maps:
Rapid cultural and economic development creates a continuous process of amplification and accumulation within cities. I walk through these cities, camera in hand, capturing multi-facetted views that I then combine, one by one, in accordance with my memories, arranging them into a map that portrays all the singular aspects of the place. The result is quite different from the denotative expression of a map; it uses photographs (single 35mm frames) of concrete objects or shapes as units to recreate a geographical representation, expressing the city through human memories and images. This means that the finished work is anything but an accurate map, it is simply the town as seen through the eyes of a single individual, a trace of the way in which I walked through it, an embodiment of my awareness, a microcosm of the life and energy that comprise the city.
Nishino was born in Osaka in 1982; he graduated from Osaka University of the Arts in 2004, when he began working on his Diorama Map concept. Since then he has exhibited his works in cities throughout Japan, and more recently in Hong Kong, in addition to winning the President Award, Osaka University of Arts (2004), Young Eye Japanese Photographer Association Award (2005), Canon New Cosmos Photography Award (2005), and the Canon Excellence Award (2005). He has also participated in several group shows, international festivals and solo exhibitions all over the world including: The Out of Focus exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London (2012), Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.10 at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo (2012) and in A Different Kind of Order: ICP Triennial at ICP in NY (2013).