Hiro Tanaka’s images capture encounters from his daily life, objects, still lifes, animals, and people, both banal and unusual, which he combines to surreal effect. Frequently travelling for his work, Tanaka acknowledges the sense of displacement he experiences and the way in which this prompts his image-making. He explains: “When you travel and you’re in a completely different environment, you experience so many more random events than you could ever have imagined….Every day is different, removed from the usual flow of time and speed. I’m attracted to those unusual experiences.” Tanaka carefully crops and shoots his photographs in a way that seems to heighten and exaggerate the act of looking. His images are close-up, blurred, and angled, so that the artist’s hand is felt in every frame. His highly saturated scenes are shot with flash to intensify the visual experience for the viewer.
In pairing these photographs – a lime-coloured bird with a green ping pong table, a close-up of a goldfish with a still life composition centred on an orange, drifting snow in the night with a white merry-go-round horse head – Tanaka suggests relationships between images that are not immediately apparent. They are, however, connected by “the air, the atmosphere, the colours, the things you can’t see with the eye, and the things that remind you of something else.” In creating these evocative connections, he acknowledges and seeks to employ the subjective nature of interpreting imagery.
Presented by Capture Photography Festival and Booooooom in partnership with Canada Line Public Art Program – InTransit BC