Hiroshi Sugimoto: Becoming an Artist

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Episode #141: Filmed in his New York studio, artist Hiroshi Sugimoto recounts his student days studying Western philosophy (Hegel, Kant, Marx) in Tokyo, encountering Oriental philosophy (such as Zen Buddhism) in California, and his interest in the history of Modernism—all schools of thought that demonstrate “the human ability to see things in a different way.”

Central to Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work is the idea that photography is a time machine, a method of preserving and picturing memory and time. Sugimoto sees with the eye of the sculptor, painter, architect, and philosopher. He creates images that seem to convey his subjects’ essence, whether architectural, sculptural, painterly, or of the natural world.

Hiroshi Sugimoto is featured in the Season 3 (2007) episode Memory of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.

CCREDITS | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Mead Hunt. Sound: Merce Williams. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Hiroshi Sugimoto. Video: © 2011, Art21, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contributor
Wesley Miller is the associate curator at ART21. Miller co-curates the television series Art in the Twenty-First Century. He is also co-creator of the series New York Close Up.

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