“I went back to Japan after seven years of absence, from north to south I traveled the country through the lens: images distorted, images real, only the imprints remain today. I remembered faces I had forgotten, saw places I had missed. The stone still stands erect and lines of people’s hands are still deeper yet. The faceless, the faithless…I melted into the swelling crowd. Alone in the crowd. The visible frontier separated some while the visible thread bonded others. Years ago and years ahead perhaps, this Japan travels inside me like a long bamboo path…” (Yuichi Hibi)
Raw talent rarely express itself so forcefully as it does in Yuichi Hibi’s first book of photographs, Imprint. Born in Nagoya in 1964, Hibi has lived in New York since 1988. Trained as an actor and filmmaker, he began making still photographs shortly after his arrival in the United States. He found himself as much at home, and as much a stranger, in his new surroundings as he had in his old.
“Imprint consists of a series of dramatic, almost cinematic images captured on dark and rainy nights between 1993 and 1999 during Hibi’s periodic jaunts to his native country. The images convey enigmatic spaces, where dark environments are infiltrated by sudden, sensuous occurrences of light that transform ordinary objects into mysterious shapes.
To create his singular vision of stylized film noir, Hibi pushes the film all the way during the darkroom process using AGFA Brovira paper stock (which is no longer produced). The result is a striking composition of rich darkness, where stingy moments of light act as an emotional climax within the confines of an urban nightmare.” (Marvelli)
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