Monday, 21 January 2013

Shomei Tomatsu, 1930 - 2012

Shomei Tomatsu, Eiko Shima, 1961
Shomei Tomatsu died on 14 December 2012.
Time stopped at 11.02, 1945, Nagasaki - this was the moment the atomic bomb was exploded over Nagasaki, and is the title of Tomatsu's photograph of a watch halted at that moment. Melted Beer Bottle is another relic of that devastating explosion - a glass bottle contorted into a form which, as Sean O'Hagan, commented, at first glance... looks like a skinned cat or dog, perhaps even a suckling pig hanging outside a roadside restaurant. 
Shomei Tomatsu, Time stopped at 11.02, 1945, Nagasaki, 1961
Shomei Tomatsu, Beer Bottle after the Atomic Explosion, 1945, Nagasaki, 1961
Like all Japanese of his generation Tomatsu was unavoidably and indelibly marked by the devastation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The pictures he made in the 1960s are a moving confrontation with that event and its aftermath. Tomatsu went on to become one of the great photographers in, and of, post-war Japan.
Read an obituary by Sean O'Hagan and an appreciation in Aperture.
Shomei Tomatsu, Prostitute, Nagoya, 1958
Shomei Tomatsu, Untitled, from series Chewing Gum and Chocolate, Yokosuka, 1959.
Shomei Tomatsu, Nagasaki, 1962
Shomei Tomatsu, untitled, 1969
Shomei Tomatsu, Eros, 1969
Shomei Tomatsu, untitled (Kadena), 1972
Shomei Tomatsu, untitled (Okinawa City), 1979

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