Hiroshi Masaki (b.1949, Uwajima, Japan) is a rare book dealer by trade who keenly understands the underlying complexities and contradictions of Japanese culture. For years his presence has served as a bridge between photographers in Japan and the eyes of the rest of the world. His photographs illustrate Japanese cities and towns with shadows and light, often devoid of their inhabitants. His popular 2012 release Uwajima, a Private Landscape is a collection of meditative images of his hometown, elegant in their reserved beauty.
In this collotype portfolio he explores the organic and artificial, past and present through the lens of his camera, revealing the deep and intertwining layers of the city of Kyoto. A city rooted in the past and set on the future, Kyoto’s fortunate survival through World War II preserved a sense of tradition that radiates from its sophisticated architecture and stunning natural landscapes.
It is only fitting that the portfolio should be completed by Kyoto’s Benrido Atelier, a workshop steeped in history and craft. Their attention to detail brings Masaki’s images to new heights. Using only the finest handmade Japanese Torinoko washi paper and inks, his photographs achieve elevated artistry through lavish care and scrutiny.
This hand printed portfolio is includes a foreword written by Simon Baker, Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. The collection of seven prints is part of a limited edition of 30 sets, housed in a gorgeous handmade colth bound traditional folding case.
“The Kyoto pictured in this collotype portfolio is one preserved forever by the transient play of light and shadow that constitutes the photographic image”
Simon Baker, Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie