top コラムExhibition ReportVol.08 Risaku Suzuki "Winter to Spring" 鈴木理策「冬と春」 @タカ・イシイギャラリーcomplex665

Exhibition Report

Vol.08 Risaku Suzuki "Winter to Spring"

John Sypal

Risaku Suzuki “SAKURA 21, 4-597, 4-598”, 2021, Chromogenic print, 1190 × 952 mm (each)

© Risaku Suzuki Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery


Occupying the third floor of complex665 in Roppongi, Taki Ishii Gallery is a cavernous L-shaped room with cool grey floors and a high ceiling. This large, quiet venue- with a floor to ceiling window that looks out towards Roppongi’s skyscrapers- provides a fitting environment for Risaku Suzuki’s latest show, “Winter to Spring”.


Like the gallery’s vast white walls, the show’s practical title does all it has to- namely, provide an clean open surface on which to contemplate the images. There’s nothing to get in the way here- and with such gorgeous chromogenic prints at these dimensions (1190 x 952), I don’t think anything really could.


Visitors are presented first with an ice floe atop vast, dark water in a moment of blue during that magic hour as the sun sets. Next, a snowy cemetery stretches into the distance under an overcast sky across the greater part of two large prints. Due to the way the two frames touch side by side, it’s possible to view these massive prints as a panorama. However, one quickly notices that while they don’t quite line up “correctly”, it still makes a complete image in your mind. This slight “gap” in the work isn’t the last.  


After leaving the cemetery, the sun appears, tonally flattening out the snow like a thick freshly-washed down blanket. This field of white gives way to spring, here announced in a trumpet-like halo-blast of sunlight. And there, at the other end of the room, facing the cold graveyard in the distance, hangs another enormous diptych: two slightly different views of the same spectacular cherry tree basking in full bloom.


Certainly, there isn’t anything subtle in this Death / Life motif— indeed, frozen, overcast tombstones could not be anything further from the staggeringly vivid, near-unbelievably detailed images of Suzuki’s cherry tree at the height of its glory.   These two photos of this tree- (and I’d like to use glorious again) this glorious piece- rightly kept on its own wall- is a counter-image to winter and promise of the spring to come. At the same time, it echoes death. This being Japan, sakura are felt to be at their most bittersweetly beautiful as the petals fall. In Suzuki’s images, the blossoms are kept frozen in time. This tree will eternally, unnaturally, photographically remain in bloom, each petal in its place. Transience is implied through its absence- any petals that flutter down do so in our minds.


In his statement for his show, Suzuki notes,


Photographs, like words, are fragmentary, entrusting the viewer to perceive the scenes that remain unseen in the midst of one photograph to the next.


Be they spatial (a shift in camera position), or temporal (the time elapsed between exposures, or withholding them all together), Suzuki has long explored such juxtapositions, entrusting the viewer to perceive what that “unseen” thing might be between his pictures. Life is kind of like that. Our daily worlds are full of disjointed moments and half-glances that we plod through. How close do we really look at things in our daily lives?  There’s a lot of gaps out there. In the clarity and beauty of Suzuki’s images- and in the gaps in between them- we are given room to think about how it feels to look at something.  Once you start to really look at something, you’re able to start to really feel something.








日没後のマジックアワーに広大で暗い水面に浮かぶ流氷。 次に、曇り空の下、雪に覆われた墓地が2枚の大きなプリントの大部分を占めています。

2つのフレームが隣り合っているため、この巨大なプリントはパノラマとしても見ることができます。この2枚は「正しく」並んでいるわけではないのですが、それでも頭の中では1つのイメージとして完結していることにすぐ気がつきます。このわずかな 「ずれ」が、この作品の最後ではない。














  • 写真は言葉のように断片的で、写真と写真のあいだ、その見えない部分を見る人に託します。



人生も似たようなものです。私たちの日常は、バラバラの瞬間や半端な視線に満ちていて、それでいて慎ましく過ごしています。私たちは日常をどれだけ近くで見ているのでしょうか。 そこには、たくさんのギャップがあるのです。鈴木の写真の透明感や美しさ、そしてその隙間に、私たちは「何かを見るということを考える」余地を与えられているのです。 本当に見ることで、本当に感じることができると思います。





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