M.Ganges by Yoshihiko Ueda

“Occasionally I began to sense myself not gazing at somebody in the photo, but seeing myself in the photo I’d taken. In my line of sight: my memories, or rather, in fact, memories from a distant past that for some reason did not seem to be my own. Spying an old dog I discern the sorrowful scent of death, and at the same time, that dog could almost be me;sometimes it feels like the landscape that looks dim and hazy as she totters along is no longer hers, that she may be seeing far distant memories. Perhaps one can see distant memories by sniffing the stench of death; the hazy light and shadow, color and form being all that remain, an unfathomable feeling of nostalgia suffuses my heart with stunning intensity, a sudden fit of weeping assailing me. Lamentation and delight and uncertain memories become light and color without contour, embracing me. The memories of dogs, of birds, of trees, of rivers, of mountains: my chest tightens with a wistful pang at the memories of each and every thing in this world. Photographs are memories of gazes, of faraway places, of people and times that have passed,” said Yoshihiko Ueda.

M.Ganges is a collection of images taken by Japanese photographer Yoshihiko Ueda along the River Ganges. Out of focus, vivid and visceral, these visions of people don colors and play with the light. Shimmering water reflects souls, puzzling the onlooker. Ueda lingered in distant memories, dreaming colored dreams. From forest to river, sea to people… M.Ganges, the latest in his ‘M’ series tracing primeval memories, offers an irresistible variety of sixty-one carefully chosen images. Other works – M.River, M.Venus and M.Sea – depict very personal impressions of Japan and elsewhere, offering a similar experience throughout with a deep interest in tracing landscape through large-scale photography. Gallery 916 on the edge of Tokyo Bay offers it’s a unique experience. A converted factory, its vastness provides the rare opportunity of seeing photography in surroundings rarely available in the city. Gallery 916-small, as the name suggests, provides a more immediate chance to feature work by up-and-coming photographers, no-less important in subject matter or quality. On the edge of Tokyo Bay, the Gallery, like the photography within, gives a rare glimpse of a world away and beyond.

Born 1957, among Yoshihiko Ueda’s most noted series/monographs are Quinault (Kyoto Shoin, 1993), a brooding meditation on the eponymous sacred Native American rainforest; Amagatsu (Korinsha, 1995), a backstage study of Sankai Juku dancer-choreographer Ushio Amagatsu; Portrait (Littlemore, 2003), singular impressions of 39 leading Japanese figures the likes of Takaaki Yoshimoto and Shotaro Yasuoka; At Home (Littlemore, 2006), intimate snapshots of the artist’s family; Yume (Seigensha, 2010), timeless, dreamlike images from a Buddhist monastery in Mandalay; and Frank Lloyd Wright (X-Knowledge, 2003), a portfolio of the architect’s buildings documented with a Leica. Since 2008, Ueda’s work has been exhibited at Paris Photo, among other art fairs. His “QUINAULT” photographs were featured in solo exhibitions at Michael Hoppen Gallery (London) and TAI Gallery (Santa Fe) in 2010 and his “Materia” photographs of primeval forest taken on the island of Yakushima at Gallery 916 in 2012. He released his “M.River” series of out-offocus images of ancient streams in the mountains of Yakushima in March 2013, and in May, his “M.Sea” series of digital photographs taken with a single-lens reflex camera of the Sea of Japan from the Tojinbo cliffs of Fukui Prefecture, and in November, his solo exhibition were featured at Galerie taménaga France. His works are in the collections of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City), New Mexico Arts (Santa Fe), Hermés International (Paris), Stichting Art & Theatre (Amsterdam), and Bibliothèque nationale de France.

M.Ganges by Yoshihiko Ueda at Gallery 916 (Tokyo, Japan) runs until June 21