Shomei Tomatsu Japanese

Not on view

In 1987, while recovering from heart surgery, Tomatsu began photographing the flotsam washed up on the beach near his home. Using the black sand as a glittering canvas, the photographs transform colorful bits of trash and seaweed into quiet meditations on mortality, disappearance, and the cyclical nature of life.
Tomatsu came of age in postwar Japan, and his sensibility was shaped by the devastation of World War II. While his photographs often respond to momentous events in Japan’s history—the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. military occupation, the nation’s economic boom—his approach is poetic and allusive rather than strictly documentary.

Untitled, Shomei Tomatsu (Japanese, Aichi, Nagoya 1930–2012 Naha, Okinawa), Silver dye bleach print

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