Risaku Suzuki

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«I see the water’s surface as a fascinating motif for contemplating the impossibility of seeing without relying on experience.»   Risaku Suzuki

 

‘Water Mirror’ is a condensation of all that makes Suzuki’s photography so appealing: his profound ruminations on the subject of photography itself and the continuous questioning of what it means to “look”. The series 'Water Mirror' explicitly shows the artist's engagement with the origins of representation and the principles of the photographic medium, which become deeper and deeper in the three years in which he took the pictures.

Just as with a mirror, the trees are captured in the water that reflects them. In water, a substance heavier than air, the leaves are shown in utter verisimilitude, making it impossible to distinguish the reflections from the actual trees standing in the soil and air.

The result is a mimetic representation that only exists within the photographs. These scenes would not exist without the intervention of the camera and the lens. In their presentation, Suzuki nonchalantly interchanges the positions of air and water by switching the vertical orientations of the photographs. Sometimes he shows the reflection exclusively. Sensing a slight strangeness, we reexamine the photograph. Trying to determine whether the photograph is of trees or their reflection, we realize that originally, the photograph is itself a reflected image. Looking at a photograph and looking at a water mirror become parts of an interlaced visual experience.

Since the methodology of ‘Water Mirror’ was developed from the production process of photography and was created in this form as well, the works themselves have become an idiosyncratic photographic theory. With its luscious, thoughtful images, Water Mirror invites on a fascinating voyage of perceptions and will probably become one of Suzuki's most representative works.