2016:06:29 18:43:22 Shibuya-ku, series Stripe (50Hz)
© Hideo Anze
“Stripe (50Hz)” by Hideo ANZE (安瀬英雄)
Listening time ⏰ 5 minutes 50
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Welcome to Instant POD, Charlène's minute podcast for Sugoi Photo devoted to Japanese photographic news. Instant POD is a keyword, an artist or a photo related to this news to discover more about contemporary Japanese photography.
Today we are interested in the series Stripe (50Hz) by photographer Hideo Anze.
Born in 1975 in Tokyo, Hideo Anze is best known for his photographs with a clear conceptual tendency. Indeed, his works, all series combined, question the very foundations of photography, namely is the image we are looking at really the best and only transcription of what we see? His images encourage us to question what reality is, by staging scientific information and visual phenomena.
Five works from his series Stripe (50Hz) entered the permanent collections of the British Museum, following his participation in Unseen Photo Fair (Amsterdam) in 2015 with the Tokyo gallery Kana Kawanishi. Stripe (50Hz), an iconic series by Hideo Anze, made of geometric abstractions with blurred contours in bright colors, catches the eye. But beyond a simple aesthetic and somewhat hypnotic abstract photograph, it is actually a precise scientific documentation of daily life in Tokyo after the disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The series Stripe (50Hz) was born on 1er April 2011, only a few days after the explosion of several reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, located 240km as the crow flies from Tokyo. Operated by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), the Fukushima plant supplied the capital and the entire eastern part of the country with electricity. With this particularity that the east of Japan (the Kanto region) operates on an electrical frequency of 50 hertz, when the west (Kansai) is at 60 hertz. Hideo Anze, residing in Tokyo, therefore lived through the disaster and the power cuts. He made the decision to bear witness to it day after day in his own way, by documenting the reality of daily life, so as never to forget. To this end, he chose to transcribe in image the particular frequency of Tokyo's domestic electric current, supplied by TEPCO and therefore in connection with the Fukushima power plant.
Using a simple Iphone, Hideo Anze began to capture the flickering phenomenon of lighting (also known as flickering) which occurs when capturing fluorescent electric light with a digital camera. Ordinarily considered as defects, the streaks (stripes in English) colors obtained are transformed into a magnificent abstract painting of the city of Tokyo and its surroundings.
Hideo Anze collected the patterns thus obtained on his Iphone every day, and published them daily on his Twitter account. Each photo is accompanied by very precise data such as the date the shot was taken, the exact time, the type of iPhone, the focal length, the aperture, the exposure, etc. Series Stripe (50Hz) being still in progress, it is possible to see all these elements, as well as the last shots of Hideo Anze, on his Twitter account.
Similarly, when the photos in the series Stripe (50Hz) are exhibited, they are accompanied by a paper file in Japanese and English indicating the location of the shooting, with a GPS map, and all the EXIF technical data of the image (Exchangeable Image File Format). According to the artist, today's digital images downloaded from the Net are no more than data, in other words this EXIF information is an alternative but very real identity of the content of the image.
In this folder, there is also a strange list from Twitter and Yahoo News Japan. These are current events listed by these two sites that took place on the days and hours of the production of each photo.
Through this various information, both pictorial and textual or data or events, we actually access a meta-reality, in other words a reality that goes beyond the simple photograph of a neon sign, a screen or neon. It is a whole world that Hideo Anze offers us, in which the conceptual image – and therefore today's photography – acquires a true status as a scientific archive document of memory.
Art historian. Doctor in Contemporary Japanese Photography
- Hideo Anze website: http://hideoanze.com/
- Hideo Anze's Twitter account: https://twitter.com/HideoAnze_S
- Kana Kawanishi Gallery: https://www.kanakawanishi.com/gallery
podcast © Charlène Veillon & sugoi.photo, image © Hideo Anze