Online gallery of Japanese contemporary art

Place #8 by Katsuhiro Saiki

Place #8

Place #8


Artist: Katsuhiro Saiki
Size:?H18 x W18in (H457.2 x W457.2 mm)
Year: 2009
Delivery Time: 2-3 weeks

Price: US$800 + Shipping fee
USA/Canada +US$40
Europe +US$50
Asia/Aus +US$30

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Reimagining familiar subjects and everyday landscapes
When viewing Katsuhiro Saiki’s artwork, one is struck by both its aesthetic simplicity and conceptual intricacy. The subjects of his photographs are everyday objects and landscapes, but his presentation distorts the pictures in ways that force the audience to scrutinize each piece, trying to make sense of what should be recognizable images. Reminiscent of New Topographics artists, Saiki’s photographs not only enhance the wonders of daily scenes, but also undermine the laws of physics.

The sky is an exciting and unpredictable “Place”
Photographs of marshmallow-like fluffy clouds, clear blue skies with streaks of aircraft trails, and birds soaring impossibly high make up Saiki’s “Place” series. These are not remarkable subjects, but the images hold an inexplicable draw that consumes observers. Trying to decipher whether they are looking at a bird or a plane, viewers almost feel as if they are floating upwards into the sky as they stand in front of these pictures. The appeal of these photographs, in part, comes from Saiki’s ability to turn mundane, predictable scenes into exciting experiences.

Challenging the logical and the accepted also seems to be a running theme throughout Saiki’s work, transcending to his exhibition style. At an Artists Space exhibition in New York City (2003), the colorful skyscapes of his “Place” series were laid out on the floor. Looking down at the heavens seems counterintuitive, but the concept is in line with the artist’s penchant for betraying the obvious. In an interview, Saiki admitted that his work questions the real world, as it appears, and offers possibilities for imagining a different, alternative world.

It’s about perspectives–unconventional and beautiful perspectives
“Double”, one of Saiki’s representative works, simply captures a white contrail across a clear blue sky. He frames the picture, however, so that the line vertically cuts the azure canvas in half. The finished piece appears minimal, unfamiliar and almost abstract. The idea for “Study for Metropolis,” a series of sculptures based on photographs of Manhattan skyscrapers contorted into architecturally nonsensical structures, was conceived when the artist realized that his sense of distance between buildings was altered when standing in the middle of New York City. But while Saiki’s work constantly pushes both the photographer and his audience to interpret the familiar from unconventional and elusive perspectives, his pieces are consistently beautiful and somehow agreeable, despite their defiance towards norms.