The new exhibition in the Kunstverein Hannover is devoted to the substantial body of work by one of Japan's most important present-day photographers (* 1958). Since the mid-1980s Hatakeyama, who lives and works in Tokyo, has developed an oeuvre which is for the most part architectural in nature, but influenced by scientific like archeological interests.
Hatakeyama's main works include the early series “Lime Works” (FactorySeries)(1991-94) /“Lime Hill” (Quarry Series) (1986-1991), which represent examinations of the architecture and landscapes of limestone mounds. All of his other important series will also be shown in the comprehensive solo exhibition, including “Blast” (since 1995), which is made up of photographs of blastings in stone quarries and have an explosive as well as a sculptural quality. His most recent photo series, dating from the year 2002, “Slow Glass” and “Still Life”, will also be be shown in the exhibition. Based primarily on the metropolis Tokyo, Hatakeyama presents a reflective and suggestive pictorial panorama devoted to the dialectical relationship between nature and civilization.
The constellations which Hatakeyama's camera discovers are both surreal and archaic at the same time: limestone quarries appear like stone age landscapes or views of the moon. A canalization, lighted in a stage like manner, gives the impression of a magically illuminated cave, but also seems like peering into the depths of a camera lens.
Hatakeyama's understanding of cities is not, for the most part, a sociological view but based rather on architectural layers (which are typically always devoid of people). His camera patiently traces these layers, unifying the visual structure of the city and the usually invisible spheres above and below.
His vertically oriented pictorial principles explore the urban organism, including the poisonous looking water surfaces of sewers (“Underground/Water”, 1999), are placed side by side with a horizontal principle, made visible by serial arrangements. The second important basic element of his work thus becomes apparent: time. His vertical archeological method reveals itself to be the reverse side of a horizontal attempt to explore the depths of time structures. These can be be comprised into a single moment, like the explosions which can be seen in “Blast”, or extended by the use time lapse photography in works such as the 48 or 72 part city tableau from the “Untitled” series (1989-97).
A comprehensive catalog published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, as well as a special edition, will accompany the exhibition, which will also be shown at the Kunsthalle Nuremberg (25.7. – 15.9.2002) and in Huis Marseille, Foundation for Photography in Amsterdam (30.11.2002 – 23.2.2003).