The current exhibition of Kikuji Kawada’s works from the 1950s/60s I just wrote about reminded me of his more recent works I hold in high esteem: the series “Car Maniac”. I have seen these works for the first time at the Internationale Phototage Herten (Germany) in 1999.
The series was also included in Kawada’s solo exhibition “Theatrum Mundi” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2003 and Kawada published it in his extremely beautiful (and today rare book) “The Globe Theater” in 1998.
I found the images from “Car Maniac” in the web at Nikon Web Gallery with an explanation by the artist:
If one can find true form of an image in a photograph, whether it was made through chemical process or digital operation, the image is original and futuristic. In these photographs, unconscious time, like biological clock, that is unique to photographs must exist and new languages must be buried. There is unexpectedness in images, and the more variations in the moments there are, the more scenes that give you vast imagination you have. I try to photograph cocktail of time that is different from time in movies or in literature.
Progress of machine and electronic technology aims at the ultimate that is beyond human brains, therefore imagination in photography also needs to be changing. However it is, we need to keep finding new and active images. Like Archimedes or Edgar Allan Poe, it would be great if I could say “Eureka = I found it”. In time flowing within photographs, there is imagination to find a sign. The time is also flowing in compound and multi-layered rich multigraphs. I believe such a banquet of images is what the future photography should be. All pieces here are part of a series titled “Car Maniac” that I have been working on since 2001.
PS: the date for the series in this text is wrong, but it is a little bit unclear when he actually began it. His book “The Globe Theater” lists works from 1991-1998. The catalogue to last years exhibition “Theatrum Mundi” in Tokyo mentions 1997 [p. 67].