Accelerated Buddha: exhibition by Hiroshi Sugimoto

The artistic event is part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris

by Valentina Ieva
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The Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent has organized the exhibition called "Accelerated Buddha", (October 10th - January 26th 2014) on the occasion of its 20th exhibition. The idea comes from a project by Japanese artist and photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, in collaboration with Emmanuelle de Montgazon. For Accelerated Buddha exhibition, that is part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris, the Fondation juxtaposes Sugimoto’s artworks with antique masterpieces from his personnal collection.

Vue de l’exposition Hiroshi Sugimoto Accelerated Buddha (c) Hiroshi Sugimoto / photo Luc Castel

Hiroshi Sugimoto explaines:

"People originally co-existed with their gods. People are thought to have turned from animals into humans with the emergence of consciousness some five million years ago. Consciousness brought a heightened awareness of time and with it special ceremonies for mourning the dead. (...) This exhibition features a video rendering of a thousand Bodhisattva statues enshrined in the thirteenth century temple Rengeô-in, better known as Sanjûsangendô, in Kyôto. In five minutes, you will see forty-eight separate photos of the thousand statues gradually accelerate and multiply into a million figures. Rengeô-in was built by the retired Emperor Go-shirakawa as a visionary model of Amida Buddha’s Pure Land Paradise, accelerated here until it dissipates. Displayed alongside the video, various Buddhist relics and treasures also provide an overview of Buddhist thinking throughout the ages".

Hiroshi Sugimoto - Five elements 2011 (c) Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Tokyo, 1948) is a major figure in contemporary photography who pioneered the use of very long exposure times. He lives and works in New York. His art links Eastern and Western philosophies while exploring the nature of time, perception and the origins of conscience. «Dioramas», «Theaters», «Seascapes», «Architecture», «Portraits», «Conceptual Forms» and «Lightning Fields» are his best known series.

Vue de l’exposition Hiroshi Sugimoto Accelerated Buddha (c) Hiroshi Sugimoto / photo Luc Castel

His works are included in many public collections, notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as well as the National Gallery and the Tate Modern in London. He has also extended his field of endeavor to include literature and architecture.

Vue de l’exposition Hiroshi Sugimoto Accelerated Buddha (c) Hiroshi Sugimoto / photo Luc Castel

In 2008, he published in Japan a second essay, Utsutsu-na-zo (Edition Shinchosha), founded the New Material Research Laboratory in Tokyo and participated in the design of the exterior spaces and the renovation of the Izu Photo Museum in 2009. Furthermore, he designed the renovation of the oak omotesando in Tokyo in 2013.

He created the Odawara Art Foundation in 2009, for which he is currently designing the architecture as well as the landscaping. Hiroshi Sugimoto was the winner of the Mainichi Art Prize (1988), of the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2001), of the Photo España Prize (2006) and of the Praemium Imperiale Award (2009). In 2013, he showed two exhibitions at the Rencontres photographiques in Arles: Revolution at the Espace Van Gogh and Couleurs de l’ombre at the Eglise Saint- Blaise.

Divinité-Daim de Kasuga avec Monju Bosatsu Époque de Kamakura (XIII ème siècle) Ajout de bois de sakaki et selle: création de l’artiste Yoshihiro Suda, 2010 (c) Hiroshi Sugimoto

Cover images photo credits: Sea of Buddha 001, Hiroshi Sugimoto 1997 - 2013 (c) Hiroshi Sugimoto



    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)