Tokihiro Sato – Gleaning Lights – 27 September 2015 until 24 January 2016


Opening: Sunday September 27, 15:00.  

When you view the work of Tokihiro Sato (1957), the light bounces so brightly off the paper, that you first think the photographer must have put a light source behind the work. A closer inspection of the back wall, however, proves this is not the case: we are looking at photographed light. Sato combines photography techniques and performance to transform everyday situations into surrealist images. His name for the result: photo-respiration. Sato uses a large-format camera and exposure times of between one and three hours. He then moves through the space with a flash light, while the camera records the movement of the light. When working outdoors, Sato angles mirrors towards the sun. The photographer’s background as sculptor is apparent in the way flashes and lines of light together form patterns or sculptures, falling on a landscape, a staircase or a street. Though Sato’s own image is concealed from the audience, we do get a sense of his being present in the photos – as a trace that’s been erased, or a fleeting memory. 

Sato is returning to Eindhoven for the first time in 20 years. In 1995 he exhibited his work in what was then the Apollohuis at Tongelresestraat 81. As he did then, prior to this current exhibition, Sato will take to the streets with his high-resolution system camera with a pinhole to work on location. The resulting work will be exhibited in the gallery alongside his existing pieces.

Sato’s art has been featured in more than 50 solo exhibitions and in twice as many group exhibitions, mainly in Asia, but his work has also been exhibited in North-American galleries and museums. His work is part of 16 Japanese museum collections, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and also in the collections of museums such as the Guggenheim in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.  

For the most recent selection of art works in the Van Abbevitrine, please click the following link


1957      Born Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan

1981      Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Fine Arts, BFA in Sculpture

1983      Completed postgraduate studies at Tokyo University of the Arts, MFA in Sculpture

2005 “Photo-Respiration. Tokihiro Sato Photographic,” The Art Institute of Chicago

2010 “Presence or Absence,” Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville

2014      Solo-exhibition “Presence or Absence” in Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

2015      Artist-in-Residence Program with students in Crans-Montana, Switzerland

               Minister of Education Award for “Presence or Absence” exhibition

               Higashikawa International Photography Award


Exhibitions earlier this year:

13 July – 1 August: The Photograph: What You See & What You Don”t, group exhibition, curated by Tokohiro Sato, The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts

From July 18: Solo exhibition, Tsuruoka 

August 8 – September 2: Expositie van de 31e editie van de Higashikawa prijs, group exhibition 







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