Japanese photographer, Fumihiko Kato, was born in Osaka, studied economics at Doshisha University, moved to San Francisco and Boston, and then devoted himself full-time to photography. After returning to Japan, he worked as a commercial photographer for a decade, and then for the past two decades, turned to architectural photography. Three years ago, he closed his architectural practice and has devoted himself to fine art photography full time.
Fumi has the Japanese gift for simplicity. His toned black and white images of nature or Japanese artifacts and architecture have a quiet elegance that only someone who appreciates the world when it’s calm and still, interprets so beautifully. The ethereal landscapes below were not captured without effort. Work for the series, Yakushima, required heroic efforts to create. A ten year project, requiring mountain climbing skills and roughing it in the cold and fog, results in a almost painterly series of the world at it’s best.
I love nature and quietness, and a purpose of my life is to enjoy it. I had a deep interest in Japan and Oriental traditional culture to express nature by artistic means. When I visited Yakushima for the first time in 1997, I was impressed by a deep spirituality and came to wish that I wanted to visualize it. Yakushima is a small island located in the Japanese south.
It is chosen to a world heritage by the beauty and environmental variety. I learned mountain climbing technology and much experience to get a special photograph in Yakushima. I discovered an image of Oriental traditional scenery by visiting the valley of Yakushima for ten years. My work was accompanied with many difficulty, but was able to achieve it by the people who supported me. I wish that I want to express mind of the Zen through a photograph of Yakushima.
I hope that my work give surprise and a mental state of the stillness. I wish I continue taking a photograph of Yakushima as much as possible.
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