A mass game to celebrate Kim Il-sung's birthday at the hundred-thousand-seat Kim Il-sung stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea, 1982, dye transer print, 20 x 24 inches/50.8 x 61 cm © Hiroji Kubota/Magnum
Aerial of Guilin, China, 1980, dye transfer print, 24 x 20 inches/61 x 50.8 cm © Hiroji
" Hiroji Kubota Photographer"
IN CONJUNCTION WITH APERTURE FOUNDATION, SUNDARAM
TAGORE CHELSEA PRESENTS ICONIC DYE-TRANSFER PRINTS
FROM RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER HIROJI KUBOTA
Sundaram Tagore New York exhibition dates: November 18, 2015 to January 2, 2016
Aperture Foundation exhibition dates: November 19, 2015 to January 14, 2016
Venues: Sundaram Tagore Chelsea (ground floor) and Aperture Foundation (fourth floor), 547 W.
27th Street, New York, NY 10001
More than one hundred photographs by Hiroji Kubota will be on view in a two-part exhibition: color dye-transfer prints produced from 1978 to 2003 will be on view at Sundaram Tagore Chelsea and black-and-white platinum prints from 1963 to 1989 will be on view in Aperture Gallery.
Rooted in his experience of Japan, ravaged by destruction and famine at the end of World War II, Hiroji Kubota’s work is characterized by a desire to find beauty and honor in human experience. He was born in Tokyo in 1939 and began his career assisting Magnum photographers René Burri, Burt Glinn and Elliott Erwitt on their visit to Japan in 1961. Becoming a Magnum photographer himself, he produced major bodies of work on the United States, Japan, China, North and South Korea and Southeast Asia.
Hiroji Kubota was introduced to the dye-transfer printing process at the urging of a friend in the late 1980s. This costly and complicated process used to create high-quality multi-color materials for print advertising was mostly phased out by the 1960s, except for a few printers who continued to use it for photographic art. One of those printers, Nino Mondhe—who printed for Irving Penn and Harry Callahan—was known for using twelve colors instead of the traditional three. Kubota, dazzled by the spectrum of vibrant color Mondhe achieved, produced fifty-five prints and two triptychs with the master printer over a twenty-year period, until the materials ran out and Mondhe eventually closed his studio. This exhibition offers an extraordinary opportunity to view Kubota’s collection of color images produced with a rarely used technique that is impossible to duplicate today.
Hiroji Kubota’s numerous publications include China (1985), From Sea to Shining Sea: A Portrait of America (1992), Out of the East: Transition and Tradition in Asia (1997), and Japan (2004). His work has been exhibited around the world, including at the International Center of Photography, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Fuji Art Museum, Tokyo.
This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the release of Hiroji Kubota Photographer (Aperture, 2015), the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work spanning more than fifty years of his extraordinary life and world travels. The book includes all his key bodies of work, including photographs from his many extended trips throughout China, Burma, the U.S., North and South Korea and his home country, Japan.