Traveling through Japan can be a puzzling experience, and people’s motivations for visiting this country can vary widely. Some are after the perpetual excitement and creative stimulation of the city, while others are seeking the soothing, peaceful murmurings of the countryside.
Hideaki Sumi’s photographical work would, without a doubt, be satisfying to them all.
Through his skills, this young Japanese photographer highlights a variety of atmospheres, ranging from his hometown of Osaka and its suburbs to Tokyo, to hidden forests and enigmatic coasts. His shots all offer the viewer a common feature: lights and shapes. Daylight and artificial lights may either coexist or alternate with one another. Lines can fuse in a blend of geometric shapes or, on the contrary, break up in total disorder.
Altogether, Hideaki Sumi’s photographs are a fascinating reflection of contemporary Japanese society: a combination of contrasting features, including tradition and modernity, past and future, slowness and speed.
In the city, Sumi focuses on architecture, on trails of lights, and on the energetic flashes conveyed by streets and skyscrapers. Rather than overwhelming us, the vastness expressed in his panoramas offers enough perspective for us to appreciate every detail. In the countryside, uncluttered scenery formed by natural elements and sky seem to be an appeal for calm and contemplation, far from the noise and bustle of the overpopulated areas.
In a very real way, Hideaki Sumi gives us the impression that he is painting with both urban and natural lights, while revealing and highlighting the rich and complex personality of the Land of the Rising Sun.