Zen Foto Gallery will be holding a memorial exhibition for Issei Suda from May 24 to June 17 under the title “Issei Suda: A Personal Retrospective”. Last year, we published Suda’s photobook “The Mechanical Retina on My Fingertips” and were planning to exhibit the series during this period. We were extremely sad to learn about his passing earlier this year in March 7. Hoping to express our gratitude to Suda for kindly collaborating with us throughout these years, we will be showing a selection of his works including “The Mechanical Retina on My Fingertips”, “Kamagasaki”, “Waga Tokyo 100”, and “The Journey to Osorezan” which we have published as photobooks, as well as “Fushi Kaden”, “Tenjo Sajiki”, “Album”, “Ukigumo” and “CUT” which are a part of our gallery owner Mark Pearson’s personal collection and are rare to be seen. It is our greatest wish for everyone including ourselves to reflect and refresh our memories towards the multifaceted accomplishments by Suda, one of the most important Japanese photographers.

"What is it that is so satisfying about a Suda photograph? Perhaps it is something of their simplicity. Suda is able to reduce the image to its essentials. In the case of a person, Suda somehow shows us the purest quality of a man, a woman, a child. It can be an animal, and we feel that he has shown us the truth about that goat, cat or snake. It might be an inanimate object such as a bush rising above a fence or a set of knives shining in a window, perfectly and simply framed, with nothing to distract us from the mysterious essence that Suda has chosen to reveal. As I look through the books that we have produced, and indeed any of his books, I feel that there is nothing in the image that is unnecessary or superfluous.

Issei Suda has been with me on my journey as a collector, as a gallerist, as a publisher and even as a would-be photographer, being inspired by him for many years now. His work was my first significant acquisition as a collector and indeed my latest significant acquisition even this year of 2019. I have been privileged to publish five books of his work, so far, and hope to bring more of his marvellous works to the wider world. I was fortunate to know him. I pray for him as he continues his journey in another world."

ーMark Pearson (Zen Foto Gallery)

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Artist Profile

Issei SUDA

Born in Tokyo in 1940. From 1967 to 1970 he worked as the cameraman of the theatrical group Tenjo Sajiki, under Shuji Terayama. He won the 16th Domon Ken Award by his work “Human Memory(人間の記憶)”. His main works are “Fushi kaden”, “Waga-Tokyo 100”, “Ningen no kioku”, “Min'yo sanga” etc..

Publications & Prints