写真の登場以前、博物誌（あるいはその類い）には版画がつかわれていました。記録にはイメージが混入し記憶を想像が補完し、そうして実現された銅版画など。（プリニウスの博物誌、デューラーの犀など） あくまでも“現実の記録”として用いられたそれらの挿絵のなんと美しい事か。 現代は地図からは空白地帯が消え未知の風景を求めることが困難な時代ですが、より現代的なアプローチとして技巧によって創出される未知の風景が構築する“もう一つの世界”の博物誌を制作する試みです。
Before the advent of photographs, books of natural history or similar collections utilized engraved prints for images. Created using copper plates, these pictures would accompany the written record, linking it with the imagination. The drawings in the Natural History Book of Pliny the Elder1 and Dürer’s Rhinoceros2 , for example, were mainly conceived as realistic depictions of their own observations, but they are stunningly beautiful images in their own right. In contemporary times, there is very little of the world left undiscovered and it is difficult to seek images of unknown landscapes. I have thus tried to create my own natural records of a new world, composed of unknown landscapes depicted using more modern techniques.
In the “Subterranean” series, I imagine myself traveling the underground of this fictional world and depicting the many varieties of scenery I see.
An imaginary world depicted with realistic means is different from the creation of an artistic world. In other words, my other world could not be one of fantasy but needed to carry the intensity of reality.
To accomplish that, I first draw or paint pictures of the scenery and objects of that world and then photograph them, after which I cut out unnecessary elements and add shadows while still preserving and completing the original drawings.
1 The natural history book of Pliny the Elder
The natural history book of Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and naval commander, was written in first century A.D. It is among the largest volumes to have been preserved from the time of the Roman empire and was a significant influence on future generations of encyclopedias and reference works.
2 Dürer’s Rhinoceros
Albrecht Dürer was a German Renaissance painter and theorist who became widely known for his woodblock prints. His Rhinoceros was a depiction of an Indian rhinoceros, based only on notes and rough sketches from a witness who had seen the animal on display in Lisbon. Although it includes anatomical inaccuracies, the drawing was widely popular and believed to be a realistic reproduction until as late as the 1750’s.