In Praise of Shadow 980727, 1998

In Praise of Shadow 980726, 1998

In Praise of Shadow 980816, 1998


In the Praise of Shadow



Japanese novelist Jun'ichiro Tanizaki disdained the "violent" artificial light wrought by modern civilization. I, too, am an anachronist: rather than live at the "cutting edge" of the contemporary, I feel more at ease in the absent past. Domesticating fire sure marks humankind's ascendancy over other species. For the last several million years since, we’veilluminated the night with flames. I decided to record "the life of a candle." Late one midsummer night, I threw open the windows, and invited in the night breeze. Lighting a candle, I also stopped open my camera lens. After several hours of wavering in the breeze, the candle burned out. Savoring the dark, I slowly closed the shutter. The candle's life varied on any given night―short intensely burning nights, long constantly glowing nights―each different, yet equally lovely in its afterglow.


- Hiroshi Sugimoto