#189 Yunotani Village, Niigata Prefecture Development pressures in Japan have caused the natural environment to be ravaged as concrete is sprayed down mountain slopes and hillsides. Since 1983, Shibata has photographed these sites. His elaborate compositions explore the juxtaposition between the finite Japanese landscape and the infinite ability of man to impose on that landscape. Shibata's works transform the reality of landscapes into images that are magical, mysterious, and altogether unique. This photograph was featured on the cover of Toshio Shibata/Quintessence of Japan: About the World, published by the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany.
About the artist
Shibata, Toshio was born in Tokyo in 1949 and graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, majoring in oil painting. Shibata has taught at the School of Art and Design of Tsukuba University and at the Tokyo College of Photography. His solo shows have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1997) and the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris (1998). His works are in the permanent collections of the Bibliothe`que Nationale, Paris; the Muse-Les Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. In 1975 and 1976, Shibata was awarded a fellowship at the Ministry of Education in Belgium, and in 1992 he was awarded the 17th Kimura Ihei Award from Asahi Shimbun Publishing Co.
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. - John Updike