FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yuichi Hibi, “Imprint”
Photographs from Japan and New York
September 22 November 11, 2006
Opening Reception: Friday, September 22, 7-9 p.m.
Michael Dawson Gallery
535 North Larchmont Boulevard (Limited free parking in our lot), Los Angeles, California 90004
(323) 469-2186, FAX (323) 469-9553
Web site, http://www.michaeldawsongallery.com
Yuichi Hibi, “5 a.m.”, 1992, photograph.
“Drawing on Robert Frank, Daido Moriyama, and the conventions of film noir, Hibi presents Japan after dark as a series of absences and enigmas: the white-gloved hand of a bellboy pointing into the empty distance, a sweating windowpane, a solitary office chair, a car wrapped in plastic as wrinkled as old skin. The few people that appear in these pictures are either evanescent blurs or suggestive fragments - none as substantial or as menacing as the weirdly charged environments that are Hibi’s meat.”
Michael Dawson Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles of New York based Japanese photographer Yuichi Hibi. Featured in this exhibition are Hibi’s mysterious black and white photographs of New York and Japan after dark taken in 1992 and 1993. Photographed using only available light, Hibi’s images of the urban landscape depict a grainy world of light and shadow filled with strange objects and faceless individuals. Hibi’s photographs are not shocking or grotesque; instead they possess a sad and quiet beauty.
Hibi moved to New York in 1988 to pursue a career in acting although he understood almost no English. Hibi recalled that, “ I spent many late nights sitting in bars watching people, listening to conversations I did not understand. I watched to be like one of them.” When Hibi returned to Japan for an extended visit in 1992 he began to record his observations with a camera. Hibi notes that “ for the next eleven months I traveled the countryside of Japan by car, by train, by foot. I took many pictures. The camera became my eyes. I looked at the landscapes, places, and people.” When Hibi returned to New York he explored the streets of Manhattan with the same sense of passion and mystery.
In the fall of 2005 Hibi released imprint, his first book of photographs. imprint is published by Nazraeli Press, one of the premier publishers of photography books. Nazraeli has also published the work of Irving Penn, Michael Kenna, Lee Friedlander, Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Daido Moriyama.
As a photographer, Hibi has enjoyed successful exhibitions worldwide, including New York, Tokyo, Paris, London, and Berlin. Hibi’s photographs are included in a number of important private collections, including that of noted collector Howard Stein. His work is also represented in institutional collections including the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.