Infrastructural Art – Toshio Shibata

One of my favorite landscape photographers, Toshio Shibata has long focused (pun intended) on the infrastructure around Japan.

I employ a particular kind of sensitivity for approaching landscapes and sceneries like still lives. It’s in way as if I was placing them right in the palm of may hand for examination. That’s why I never included the sky. Showing the sky would mean going back to depicting landscapes.

Water (or maybe time) is a recurring element of his work, as his long exposures and deep focus reveals an ephemerality that many other photographers of infrastructure fail to capture. Many of his images look at the vast civil engineering works to reinforce hillsides and streams to try and stop time from increasing erosion…

Shibata was interviewed at EYEcurious in 2009.

Kooriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture

Toshio Shibata, Okawa Village, Kochi, 2007

“For me colour photography is about atmosphere, whereas with my black and white work I was focused on shape and tonality. In my black and white work by combining those elements of shape and tonality, photography was able to create a different world. I tried to create scenes that people had never seen before. With colour photography the process is more casual, looser. I try to capture an atmosphere.” (from eyecurious)

If you want to actually buy his original prints, Shibata is represented by several gallaries in the US and on-line:

Laurence Miller Gallery (NYC)

Studio Equis has unframed prints from the ‘For Grey’ series starting at $1,570.

For those of more modest budgets, his books (most are out of print and getting expensive) were my first introduction to his sublime images.

A slideshow with more of his work is here.

All images (c) Toshio Shibata

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