Bricolage - Sohei Nishino–
New York, U.S.A.
Organisation: Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Sohei Nishino’s large scale photomontages resemble maps of the world’s great cities. Paris. New York. Hong Kong. Get closer, and they burst with unexpected scales, moments, and juxtapositions. Landmarks like the the Brandenberg Gate or Golden Gate Bridge stand out in a mosaic of images. A constellation of satellite dishes denotes a neighborhood in Istanbul, boisterous dancing crowds represent the streets of Havana, pixelated water and boats show the Huangpu River in Shanghai.
Nishino’s ongoing series Diorama Maps represents his experiences wandering through more than a dozen cities, and creating a new way of viewing them. “I started to see the city almost like a living creature, which has personality,” he says. They’re reality, seen through memories.
The Japanese artist spent as long as three months exploring each city on foot, shooting hundreds of rolls of film (yes, film). Back in his studio, he spent months more pasting together hundreds of images cut from his printed (yes, printed) contact sheets. The analog nature of this work, now appearing at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, have a nostalgic feel, bringing to mind the Plan de Paris or or a scrapbook. “By touching the films, making contact sheets in the darkroom, cutting the paper with scissors, all these processes help me bring back my memory of the time I spent in the city,” Nishino says.
Nishino drew inspiration from Inō Tadataka, the 18th Century cartographer who created some of Japan’s first accurate maps during more than a decade spent surveying the country on foot. Like Tadataka, Nishino is a pioneer, but in a different way; creating subjective, personal maps that convey his impressions and experiences within the context of a city’s geography. “It’s not like a Google Map,” he says. “Each person can draw a different map in his head, deformed by memory and shaped by smells, sounds, and people. It’s shaped by the feeling of a city.”
By Sam Lubell in Wired