Concrete Abstraction


7/31 - 9/27/2015
Gallery hours:11:00-19:00
Closed on Monday,Tuesday
The Gallery will be close from 21th to 22th September, these days are public holidays.

Akio Nagasawa Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “Concrete Abstraction”, an exhibition of new works by Toshio Shibata.

Taken with a large-format camera, Shibata’s photographs are characterized especially by their dense composition and the resulting sense of tension. Artificial and organic elements generate a formal beauty that is abstracted and translated into picturesque images.
In dynamic depictions of mysterious sceneries with artificial elements intruding natural environments, Shibata employs his unique plastic sensibility to capture the changes of the times that occur with the developments of civilization.

The exhibition will be an excellent opportunity to see approximately 40 new color photographs taken at locations around the world.

Concurrently with the exhibition, the photo book “Concrete Abstraction” will be published in a limited edition of 600 numbered and signed copies.




Born 1949 in Tokyo. Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a BA and MFA, and received a fellowship from the Belgian Ministry of Education to study photography at the Royal Academy in Gent, Belgium, in 1975. Commenced his activities as a photographer around 1980. His photographs shot with a large-format camera are precisely composed and charged with a sense of tension, whereas the formative beauty built from artificial and organic elements is illustrated in picturesque ways. Dynamically capturing mysterious sceneries of artificial objects in natural environments, Shibata employs his uniquely formative sense to depict landscapes that keep changing with the development of civilization, and thereby reflect social and political aspects. His works have been shown at numerous solo exhibitions in Japan and abroad, including ”Toshio Shibata” at The Art Institute of Chicago, “Landscape” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and “Given Forms – Tatsuno Toeko / Shibata Toshio” at The National Art Center, Tokyo. He received the 17th Kimura Ihei Award in ’92, and in 2009, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Photographic Society of Japan, and the 25th Higashikawa Award. Photo books include Landscape (1996), Dam (2004), A View and For Grey (both 2009) and Concrete Abstraction(2015).


Concrete Abstraction

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Occasions at which people ask me about my photographs have been increasing lately.

On the fundamental question, “Why landscapes?” I can’t offer more than a lighthearted answer referring to my desire to work outside, my hobby of traveling, and the fact that a landscape is for me the ideal environment for relaxed working without being disturbed.
Even the rather essential question, “Why infrastructure?” I casually answer by explaining that this is something that can be found anywhere and addressed at any time – a silent object that allows for one-sided interpretation.
Well I must have had some serious ideas back when I started working in photography. Ideas about the originality of my works; about indirect ways of expression (of human behavior); about the country I’m living in, etc. But now that I think about it, I know that the guy who was considering such things more than 30 years ago is still right here behind me.

– from Afterword by Toshio Shibata

For Grey (A.P.)

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There are a few scratches caused by age deterioration

a View (A.P.)

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There are a few scratches caused by age deterioration


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Twelve years ago, Nazraeli Press published Toshio Shibata's Landscape, the artist's first Western monograph and one which sold out upon publication. In the interim, Shibata has moved to large-format color photography, maintaining as his subject the spectacular, anti-erosion engineering structures so prevelant in the mountainous inland regions of Japan and parts of the United States. Like its predecessor, Landscape 2 is printed in a first edition of 1,000 hand-numbered copies. This important new monograph spans five years of output, featuring 84 of the artist s most powerful recent imagery. Toshio Shibata is one of Japan s most respected contemporary photographers. His work has been the subject of exhibitions and publications throughout Japan, the United States, and Europe, and is included in such public collections as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Landscape 2 is beautifully printed in an oversized format on heavy matte paper, and bound in Japanese cloth.