Matthew Pillsbury : Tokyo
Exhibition Dates: September 10 - October 25
Artist's Opening Reception:
Wednesday, September 10
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Matthew Pillsbury is famed for his long exposures that rely on available light only. In the time it takes the image to be made, moments pass and are translated into detail-rich images. This exhibition marks the artist's fifth with the gallery. These works reflect spaces, public and private, and the frenzy of activity that happen in them. Though often well-populated these frames capture in sentiment "the growing role that technology [plays] in our lives and the sense of modern seclusion that can seem at odds with the constant connectivity being offered by our smartphones and tablets" (Pillsbury, Benrubi press). This disconnect heightens against the backdrop of one of the world's most populous cities, Tokyo. In these new works we see Pillsbury using shorter exposures than he has been known to, and he has also converted to color. These images capture a city alive with energy, but there is indeed a strange sensation of disconnection, a loneliness among the masses.
Technology use, as it has in much of the world, has increased exponentially in Tokyo, latching itself onto everything from modern-day cell phone-obsessed geisha women to the ultra-hip neighborhood of Shinjuku, where themed clubs and bars now include high-tech robotics as a featured part of the entertainment. Expecting to encounter the kinetic energy depicted in the William Klein and Andreas Gursky photographs of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, I arrived to discover that the once buzzing trading floor is now run in almost unnerving stillness by computers. While the temples are still revered and deeply respected places of worship, pop culture and rebellion amongst Western-obsessed Japanese youth have crept irreversibly in, forcing sacred and traditional sites to share cultural importance with modern Manga robots and Disney castles. (Benrubi Press)
Read the full press release at Bonni Benrubi Gallery's website.
Preview more of the work from this series in the New York Times Magazine.