Ala Champ
 
00:00/

PARKHOTEL MONDSCHEIN

A Rich Cultural History Combined with a Refined Design Aesthetic at this Modern Luxe Hotel

FUFU KYOTO

An Intimate Luxury Hotel that Entwines Traditional Japanese Dining, Architecture and Hospitality with Modern Elegance

JACQUEMUS PARIS

A Pure Interior Led By Playfulness and Surprise

The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre

The Charred-Brick 'Black Box' Presenting The Beauty Of Theatre & Performance

GAIA

British Artist Luke Jerram’s Explores The Vastness of Our Earth

Honouring ISSEY MIYAKE

The Legacy Remains: Merging Art & Fashion, East & West, Tradition & Technical Innovation

UNITED PLACES BOTANIC GARDENS

Local and Luxurious, A Melbourne Boutique Hotel That Gets It Right

Naoshima Ryokan ROKA

Designed by Okayama-based studio Nottuo, a New Modern Stay on Japan’s ‘Art Island’

Restaurang ÄNG

NORM Architects Creates A Light-Filled Glasshouse For The Michelin-Starred Restaurant

JAPANESE CRAFTSMANSHIP: BAMBOO WEAVING

In The Quiet Backstreets Of Kyoto's South Higashiya, Find A Master Craftsman

HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE SS23

As Ever, The Joy Of Movement & Ease of Pleats Prevails

Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Artist Theaster Gates Designs the 21st Pavilion

BRUT-AL

Argentinian-Australian Designer Alexander Lotersztain's Ode to Brutalism

Serpentine Pavilions 2000-2021

A Champ Online Retrospective Of Two Decades of The Radical Architectural Event

PURE FORM

The Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Japan's Avant-Garde Ceramics

KABIRA & KANGRI

The Beauty Of Indian Textile Craftsmanship In ISSEY MIYAKE Sub-Brand HaaT's SS22 Collection

OPTICKS

After A Decade and A Half, Japanese Contemporary Artist Hiroshi Sugimoto Recreates Sir Isaac Newton’s Prism Experiments

March, 2021
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Opticks 128, 2018, chromogenic print © Hiroshi Sugimoto / Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi

On the 9th floor of a nondescript building amongst Tokyo’s tall commercial skyscrapers in Ginza, find the unassuming Gallery Koyanagi. It’s modest space represents some of the worlds most renowned artists, in a compact and pensive interior, offering a moment of solace with exhibited artworks in the intimate setting.

Currently, the gallery presents Japanese contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s OPTICKS series, first exhibited at Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum the year earlier, the works are now presented in the Tokyo gallery’s natural light, softly changing throughout the course of the day.

OPTICKS is not only a groundbreaking photographic series in colour, it is a surprising change from Sugimoto’s monochromatic works yet equally as complex, technical and layered. Stemming from a fascination of English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton’s prism experiments where he identified the originating ROYGBIV colours in 1704, that make up a visible spectrum. From this, Sugimoto took to study and reimagine the colour fields utilising his own modern technologies in the process. “The world is filled with countless of colours, so why did natural science insist on just seven? I seem to get a truer sense of the world from those disregarded intracolours. Does art not serve to retrieve what falls through the cracks, now that scientific knowledge no longer needs a God?” states Sugimoto.

From this inspiration and over the course of 15 years, Sugimoto recreated the experiments by employing the same observational apparatus that Newton invented yet improving upon it with his own tools. He succeeded in capturing the sunlight dispersed in the exact same colours as Newton had achieved, capturing it with his Polaroid 690SLR camera and on discontinued Polaroid film acquired before the company folded in 2008. The Polaroid film captures the flawless gradations and fragmentations appearing between colours. The large scale square chromogenic prints hanging in the gallery not only represent the expansive scale of time between the 21st and 18th centuries, but the achievement of capturing light and colour through photography. At various distances, the prints could possibly be mistaken as paintings, their soft and effortless fluidity of colour disorientating any viewer. They are transformative, as here, Sugimoto has used “light as my pigment”.

Sugimoto further notes,It has been fifteen years since I started recreating Newton’s prism experiment. Every year, as winter comes around, the sunrise comes closer and closer to the frontmost side of the prism. Traveling through the cold winter air, the light is split, then drawn into the dim observation chamber, where it is projected on the white plaster wall at exaggerated size. The profundity of the color gradation is overwhelming. I have the sense that I can see particles of light, and that each of those individual particles is a subtly different color form the next one. Red to yellow, yellow to green, then green to blue — the projected colors contain an infinity of tones and change every moment. I am engulfed in color. Particularly when the colors fade and fuse into darkness, the gradation seems to melt away into pure mystery.

I realized that I could capture those fine particles of color within the square frame of a Polaroid photograph. After years of experimentation, I managed to create a color surface that was sufficiently expansive for me to merge into the color. With light as my pigment, I believe I successfully created a new kind of painting.”

Original Polaroid, "Hiroshi Sugimoto: OPTICKS”, Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo © JK / Ala Champ
Installation view, “Hiroshi Sugimoto: OPTICKS”, Gallery Koyanagi, March 26 - May 1, 2021. © Hiroshi Sugimoto / Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi

Hiroshi Sugimoto
OPTICKS

26 March – 29 May, 2021

Gallery Koyanagi
Tokyo, Japan

March, 2021