Tokihiro Sato is a contemporary Japanese photographer who was trained at first as a sculptor and later, during the 1980s, developed an interest in a specific kind of black and white photography. Nowadays he is famous for his compositions in which light plays a central role transforming static and empty interiors or landscapes into surreal scenes inhabited by an unsettling presence.
Sato reaches the effect that became his signature through extended exposures on a large format camera equipped with a darkening filter. In the time of the exposure, which might go up to three hours, he intervenes in the setting using a mirror to reflect light back toward the camera or roaming through the scene with a flashlight. The resulting image records the different positions of the reflected light or the trails of lights. Since the camera doesn’t record movement during a long exposure, Sato’s physiognomy disappears. The final images carry the presence of the artist in a subtle, almost mysterious way as he merges with the landscape or crosses the empty hallways and stairs.
See other posts on SOCKS on long exposure photographs:
The passing of time
Attempts to Represent Time through Photography: Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theaters Series
Or explore the Topic “When photography catches Time”
All images © Tokihiro Sato