Seeking a Light
Since opening in 1904, the subway system has been the life support system of New York City. Everyday, around 6 million people pass through its infrastructure, moving within 656 miles of tracks and through 468 stations.
Living here for fifteen years, I've noticed that New Yorkers have to rely on instinct and intuition in order to deal with this system. There is no schedule and no one can predict when the trains will arrive. Without a system announcing the train's arrival, like the mechanical signs found throughout the world, one is impelled to focus on the shadows of the tunnel awaiting the future.
The live act of waiting is tense yet spiritual. On the edge of tracks, people are meditative, perceiving a premonition from the darkness of the tunnel. They seek the lights of the subway car, like one looks into a spiritual palace expecting someone to appear in the light.
'Seeking a Light' was shot in the summertime of 2005 in various New York City subway station platforms the moment the trains were coming. One image is of the person waiting and the other image is the moment of light approaching.
Streams By The Wind
- Heat Stroke
By Noritoshi Hirakawa
Heat Stroke is the second installment in a series of slide projections titled 'Streams By The Wind'. It consists of 80 images produced as slides and viewed in a narrative progression (through a slide projector with carousel 80 slides) without sound. Each installment in the series is an interaction between a man and a woman. These characters have conflicting traits, and are not restricted to predetermined dispositions. There is no such definition of good or evil, as is customary in much literature and film, as most real humans are much more complex than this. Each character is completely subjective, switching from what would be deemed good to acts that may be regarded as evil.
Noritoshi's goal with this project was to create new narratives that deviate from those in modern film and literature. He was interested in creating multidimensional characters that at each moment are in a dilemma as to what to do, and their actions are not character traits that fit a mold, but reaction to specific circumstance.
The title, 'Streams By The Wind' is in reference to this overall theme. The characters are caught up in the moment, as if autumn leaves caught in the gusts of wind, blown by the breeze, and their reactions are barely manageable.
'Heat Stroke' is the story of a father and a daughter. In the middle of the night the father, played by Michael Nader, is woke by the sounds of his daughter, Simone Collins. He thinks his daughter is sick, and goes to her room to help?
This slide projected installation was exhibited at Kunsthalle Wien in 2003 ( his work has never been exhibited at any commercial gallery or museum in US).
Subject / the fruitful wavers
April 16th, May 21th 2005
Through a series of photographs, Subject aims to shift perceptions of not only architectural photography, but architecture as a whole Subject illustrates that at times the true subject is not the building, nor structure nor assumed use of the space. Instead, the true subject is the humans and their individual and group interactions.
Noritoshi Hirakawa had taken these ideas of his to Thom Mayne, architect and founder of Morphosis, and discussed them further. It was at this point that Mayne proposed to collaborate with Hirakawa on the architectural photography project known as Subject.
The Graduate House in the University of Toronto provided the perfect composition in which the interaction of humans could be the main focus. The narrative nature of the photographs in Subject are supported by the psychological drama between the humans in the space. Humans incorporate the architecture as a part of their daily lives and Subject shows this true use of architecture in a series of fourteen duraflex prints (75×100 cm). Hirakawa and Mayne illustrate and believe that the consideration of human appropriation is utterly important not only in the photography, but in the creation of architecture as well.