The Most Beautiful Ruin Photographer: Gen Aihara Photographer: Gen Aihara

I was fascinated to read a recent article by Bianca Bosker in The New York Times Style Magazine, which introduces the current work of Hiroshi Sugimoto. Known primarily as a photographer, Sugimoto’s work can be found in museum collections worldwide. Now, at age 69, “the artist is quietly making an ambitious transition, expanding his two-dimensional vision to one that captures the world in space.”

As the article explains, Sugimoto is inspired by ancient materials – stone, wood, light – and his goal is to create structures that will survive civilization’s demise: “After it ends, my building will be the most beautiful building as a ruin.” Ten years under construction, his Enoura Observatory will open this fall in the Enoura district of Odawara, Japan, as “an artistic destination and a living monument to creative ambition.” Constructed of steel, glass, cypress and stone, the structure is oriented to the light at the summer and winter solstice. Photographer: Benjamin Hosking Photographer: Benjamin Hosking


It’s intriguing to see how the aesthetic of Sugimoto’s architecture is so strongly connected to the aesthetic of his photography. In addition to the New York Times article, you can see photos of his architecture and art on Sugimoto’s website, photographs from his past exhibitions at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and watch a PBS segment of Art 21 from 2005 in which the artist discusses his approach to photography.

Additional photos from Fraenkel Gallery below!


sugimoto 3_ fraenkel gallery