AOYAMA

WITHERED FLOWERS BLACK

Kazunali TAJIMA

1/13 - 2/26/2022
*Closed on February 11 due to a national holiday.

GALLERY HOURS | Thu.–Sat. 11:00–13:00, 14:00–19:00
CLOSED | Sun–Wed., National Holidays

Akio Nagasawa Gallery Aoyama is pleased to present "WITHERED FLOWERS BLACK," a solo exhibition by Kazunali Tajima.
Born in 1968 in Tokyo, Japan, Kazunali Tajima is one of the leading photographers in the field of fashion photography.
On the other hand, he has been taking photos of withering flowers in secret without letting anyone know.
His works were first shown at the solo exhibition "WITHERED FLOWERS" held at Akio Nagasawa Gallery Aoyama in 2020, and became a hot topic.
In this exhibition, the second time to be held, works from the latest "WITHERED FLOWERS BLACK" series will be exhibited.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a photo book of the same title will be published by Akio Nagasawa Publishing.

Artist Statement
Black-and-white photographs are something special. The history of photography started black and white, even though our eyes perceive the world in color, and they do not see things in monochrome. It’s a unique world altogether. If the first photographic film had been a color film, there would probably exist no black-and-white images at all today. Nonetheless, there is some kind of magic that keeps attracting us photographers to the simplicity, the modernism, the sharpness of photos shot in black-and-white. I have spent the past seven years waiting for flowers to decay and shoot photographs to express in my own way the atmosphere of withered flowers, with all the minute details, the beautiful moods and textures of what looks like wrinkled skin. Why is it that people are entranced by flowers? Were all the beautiful designs and colorations of flowers only made to captivate us humans? When I exhibited color photographs of flowers in 2020-2021, the many celebratory flowers that I received decayed badly over the course of the 2-month exhibition. The resulting interplay between withered flowers at the venue, and the images in my works, was so beautiful that I decided to leave the flowers at the gallery even when they were all dead. I later carried them back to my office as they were, and started taking photographing them in black-and-white.

People tend to think that any photograph looks better in black-and-white, but there are in fact a lot of subjects that look more appealing in color. Flowers are one of them. Flowers come in all kinds of colors and hues, and every single one of them has its own characteristic set of enchanting tones. Today’s digital cameras capture subjects in color, and then use certain software to convert them into black-and-white. It is in fact possible to look at both versions and instantly compare them while shooting. In the case of flowers, however, which are beautiful in color to begin with, it is difficult to make them look even better only by turning the pictures into black-and-white. That is simply because all of the pretty colors that flowers are naturally equipped with become unavailable. All that one can work with is the grayscale between black and white, or in other words, simple representations of light. In order to make the monochromatic images in this series look more appealing than the color ones, I worked out quite elaborate lighting settings for the shootings. Compared to the color pictures, the results may appear more “photographic,” which means that here it is perhaps the “photograph” itself that is presented, rather than the “flower” in it.

Artist

Kazunali Tajima, born in 1968 in Tokyo.
After working as an assistant for photographer Akira Gomi, from 1989.
Start working as a photographer in Paris and New York. Active in Tokyo since 2002.
As a advertisement, fashion photographer. His works also seen in the fields of music videos and TV commercials. 1997 American Photographie Annual. 2007, 2013 TOKYO ADC AWARD.

Publication

WITHERED FLOWERS BLACK

$48.81
In Stock

Black-and-white photographs are something special. The history of photography started black and white, even though our eyes perceive the world in color, and they do not see things in monochrome. It’s a unique world altogether. If the first photographic film had been a color film, there would probably exist no black-and-white images at all today. Nonetheless, there is some kind of magic that keeps attracting us photographers to the simplicity, the modernism, the sharpness of photos shot in black-and-white. I have spent the past seven years waiting for flowers to decay and shoot photographs to express in my own way the atmosphere of withered flowers, with all the minute details, the beautiful moods and textures of what looks like wrinkled skin. Why is it that people are entranced by flowers? Were all the beautiful designs and colorations of flowers only made to captivate us humans? (...) In order to make the monochromatic images in this series look more appealing than the color ones, I worked out quite elaborate lighting settings for the shootings. Compared to the color pictures, the results may appear more “photographic,” which means that here it is perhaps the “photograph” itself that is presented, rather than the “flower” in it.
– Afterword by Kazunali Tajima (a part)

WITHERED FLOWERS

$48.81
In Stock

I like withered flowers. However I do feel that flowers are actually dead as soon as they are cut off from the stem, or taken out of the soil they grew from. So even the prettiest flower arrangement, after all, consists of dead flowers that are already on the road to decay. Speaking of decay, this naturally reminds me of the fact that decay is what we humans are bound for as well. When applying the image of the flower to myself as someone who has already begun to wither, I could probably say that I am now disconnected from my soil, too.
This Tajjiemax (Tajima Kazunali) photo book made me realize for the first time that fashion photography is an art form in its own right, that exists independently from the art of photography at large. It also showed me that this is one photographer who seems to be taking pride in devoting himself to fashion photography.
Withered flowers are beautiful. But why is it that they look so beautiful to us? This has to be related to the fact that we sense in them some kind of mutability. Flowers demonstrate in a beautiful way the factual reality of life and death. Why are flowers beautiful in the first place? According to a certain scientist, it is because they want to entertain insects and humans with their prettiness. I believe that is true.

– from the Afterword by Ryuichi Sakamoto

These may be different from what people usually consider as “beautiful flower photographs,” but they are pictures that were taken to honestly reflect my feelings, without incorporating anyone else’s views and perceptions.
– from the artist's statement by Kazunali Tajima

WITHERED FLOWERS (Special Edition) A

$650.77
In Stock

Akio Nagasawa Publishing is excited to release the special edition of WITHERED FLOWERS.
One original print included signed on verso. The original print can be chosen from theree different images. Limited edition of 20 copies for each image.

I like withered flowers. However I do feel that flowers are actually dead as soon as they are cut off from the stem, or taken out of the soil they grew from. So even the prettiest flower arrangement, after all, consists of dead flowers that are already on the road to decay. Speaking of decay, this naturally reminds me of the fact that decay is what we humans are bound for as well. When applying the image of the flower to myself as someone who has already begun to wither, I could probably say that I am now disconnected from my soil, too.
This Tajjiemax (Tajima Kazunali) photo book made me realize for the first time that fashion photography is an art form in its own right, that exists independently from the art of photography at large. It also showed me that this is one photographer who seems to be taking pride in devoting himself to fashion photography.
Withered flowers are beautiful. But why is it that they look so beautiful to us? This has to be related to the fact that we sense in them some kind of mutability. Flowers demonstrate in a beautiful way the factual reality of life and death. Why are flowers beautiful in the first place? According to a certain scientist, it is because they want to entertain insects and humans with their prettiness. I believe that is true.

– from the Afterword by Ryuichi Sakamoto

These may be different from what people usually consider as “beautiful flower photographs,” but they are pictures that were taken to honestly reflect my feelings, without incorporating anyone else’s views and perceptions.
– from the artist's statement by Kazunali Tajima

WITHERED FLOWERS (Special Edition) B

$650.77
In Stock

Akio Nagasawa Publishing is excited to release the special edition of WITHERED FLOWERS.
One original print included signed on verso. The original print can be chosen from theree different images. Limited edition of 20 copies for each image.

I like withered flowers. However I do feel that flowers are actually dead as soon as they are cut off from the stem, or taken out of the soil they grew from. So even the prettiest flower arrangement, after all, consists of dead flowers that are already on the road to decay. Speaking of decay, this naturally reminds me of the fact that decay is what we humans are bound for as well. When applying the image of the flower to myself as someone who has already begun to wither, I could probably say that I am now disconnected from my soil, too.
This Tajjiemax (Tajima Kazunali) photo book made me realize for the first time that fashion photography is an art form in its own right, that exists independently from the art of photography at large. It also showed me that this is one photographer who seems to be taking pride in devoting himself to fashion photography.
Withered flowers are beautiful. But why is it that they look so beautiful to us? This has to be related to the fact that we sense in them some kind of mutability. Flowers demonstrate in a beautiful way the factual reality of life and death. Why are flowers beautiful in the first place? According to a certain scientist, it is because they want to entertain insects and humans with their prettiness. I believe that is true.

– from the Afterword by Ryuichi Sakamoto

These may be different from what people usually consider as “beautiful flower photographs,” but they are pictures that were taken to honestly reflect my feelings, without incorporating anyone else’s views and perceptions.
– from the artist's statement by Kazunali Tajima

WITHERED FLOWERS (Special Edition) C

$650.77
In Stock

Akio Nagasawa Publishing is excited to release the special edition of WITHERED FLOWERS.
One original print included signed on verso. The original print can be chosen from theree different images. Limited edition of 20 copies for each image.

I like withered flowers. However I do feel that flowers are actually dead as soon as they are cut off from the stem, or taken out of the soil they grew from. So even the prettiest flower arrangement, after all, consists of dead flowers that are already on the road to decay. Speaking of decay, this naturally reminds me of the fact that decay is what we humans are bound for as well. When applying the image of the flower to myself as someone who has already begun to wither, I could probably say that I am now disconnected from my soil, too.
This Tajjiemax (Tajima Kazunali) photo book made me realize for the first time that fashion photography is an art form in its own right, that exists independently from the art of photography at large. It also showed me that this is one photographer who seems to be taking pride in devoting himself to fashion photography.
Withered flowers are beautiful. But why is it that they look so beautiful to us? This has to be related to the fact that we sense in them some kind of mutability. Flowers demonstrate in a beautiful way the factual reality of life and death. Why are flowers beautiful in the first place? According to a certain scientist, it is because they want to entertain insects and humans with their prettiness. I believe that is true.

– from the Afterword by Ryuichi Sakamoto

These may be different from what people usually consider as “beautiful flower photographs,” but they are pictures that were taken to honestly reflect my feelings, without incorporating anyone else’s views and perceptions.
– from the artist's statement by Kazunali Tajima