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Toshio Shibata


March 9 – April 29, 2017

Toshio shibata Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture 2007
Toshio Shibata Okawa 2007
Toshio Shibata Yamagata Prefecture 2016
Toshio Shibata Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture 2016
Toshio Shibata Okura Village, Yamagata Prefecture, 2007
Toshio Shibata Midori City, Gunma Prefecture 2008
Toshio Shibata Kijo Town, Miyazaki Prefecture 2011
Toshio Shibata Itsuke Village, Kumamoto Prefecture 2015
Toshio Shibata Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture 2014
Toshio Shibata Clackamas County, OR 2004
Toshio Shibata Miyazaki Prefecture 2015
Toshio Shibata Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, 2013
Toshio Shibata Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture 2016

Press Release

Laurence Miller Gallery, in partnership with Asia Week New York, presents Toshio Shibata – Harmony, a solo exhibition featuring large format color photographs that extend his exploration of man-made structures co-existing within nature. Laurence Miller Gallery is the first and only photography gallery to participate in ASIA WEEK NEW YORK, now in its eighth year. 

Toshio Shibata’s connections with Japanese artistic tradition are intriguing. He purposefully went against the grain of the traditional Japanese concept of landscape, yet his viewpoint is unmistakably Japanese. His work has a strong connection with the way classical Japanese architecture integrates itself within its environment. In this sense, Shibata’s mediations on the contemporary landscape have a surprising connection to classical Japanese tea pavilions - both are set carefully within the surrounding landscape, and each displays a refined sense of spatial proportion

Shibata’s work is never didactic; rather he allows the surprising interplay between elements to conjure up new ways of seeing. What Shibata does bring to these scenes is a deftly calibrated sense of composition and a subtle color sensibility. His early training as a painter can be seen in his thoughtful arrangement of the elements within each frame.

In Midori City, Gunma Prefecture, classical Japanese themes are literally at the fore as the modern bridge in the distance is seen through a screen of cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms are, of course, the flowers most loved by the Japanese, and their short bloom cycle is culturally enshrined as a symbol of the transience of life. Shibata composes the picture in a way that emphasizes that this scene, for all its beauty, is also a quotidian roadside moment.

If harmony is the interplay and balance between distinct elements, it could be said that Toshio Shibata has built his photographic practice around finding visual harmony in the places where the constructed and natural world meet, somewhere those before him hadn’t thought to look.