Image of the Day

Specially curated
365 Days, 365 Images
of National/International

An Image a Day
Let us engage with this
Fascinating Medium that
Breaks all boundaries

Touki, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005 | Image source internet
Touki, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005 | Image source internet

Hiroshi Watanabe

My expenses are almost as high as my photography income and I have so little left at the end even when I am lucky. So, maybe I am not qualified to answer this question. Then why am I doing photography? I think it is a combination of passion and stupidity. For me, photography is intellectual, …artistic, and curiosity fulfilling. I love making photographs.

Hiroshi Watanabe

Hiroshi Watanabe is a California-based Japanese photographer. Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan in 1951, Watanabe graduated from the Department of Photography of Nihon University in 1975 and moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a production coordinator for Japanese television commercials and later co-founded a Japanese coordination services company. He obtained an MBA from UCLA in 1993, but two years later his earlier interest in photography revived. In 2000, he closed the production company in order to devote himself entirely to art and became a full-time photographer. His work has been published around the world and has been exhibited in many galleries across the United States and Japan.

After five self-published books, Watanabe’s first to be published conventionally was I See Angels Every Day, monochrome portraits of the patients and other scenes within San Lázaro psychiatric hospital in Quito, Ecuador. This won the 2007 Photo City Sagamihara award for Japanese professional photographers. In 2005, a portfolio of his work was featured in Nueva Luz photographic journal. In 2007 Watanabe won a “Critical Mass” award from Photolucida that allowed publication of his monograph Findings. In 2008, his work on North Korea won Santa Fe Center Project Competition First Prize, and the book titled “Ideology of Paradise” was published in Japan. He was invited and participated in commission projects such as “Real Venice” in 2010 (its exhibition was a program in the 2011 Venice Biennale), “Bull City Summer” in 2013, and “The Art of Survival, Enduring Turmoil of Tule Lake” in 2014. Watanabe’s works are in the permanent collections of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, George Eastman House, and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Hiroshi Watanabe basically works in black and white photography, in square format, and his production covers a variety of subjects: portraits, places, and any human activity that could be interesting to the artist. A curious observer, Watanabe has traveled many countries seeking to express his experiences in inspiring images, telling visual stories that connect us with everyday lives, festive celebrations, artistic manifestations, or curious circumstances of the rest of humanity.

His popular works Rikishi was done in the year 2005. A rikishi is a professional sumo wrestler. Rikishis are expected to live according to centuries-old rules and most come from Japan, the only country where sumo is practiced professionally. Participation in official tournaments is the only means of marking achievement in sumo and the rank of an individual rikishi is based solely on official wins. In this intense cultural document, Hiroshi had made 28 portraits of Sumo wrestlers. His work stands apart because of the strong cultural thread that highlights the nuances of Japanese culture, folklore, and tradition.

Published on January 18, 2021
See All Image of the Day | 365 days, 365 images


Home » Image of the day » Touki, Rikishi series | Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Related Posts

Herero people of Namibia | Jim Naughten

November 20th, 2021|

Jim Naughten is a British Photographer, who originates from Bonaire,  Central America. Born in 1969, Jim Naughten was predominantly influenced by the 1980s. The 1980s were a tumultuous period culturally, and were marked by growing global capitalism, global mass media, significant discrepancies in wealth, alongside a distinctive sense of music and fashion, epitomised by electronic pop music and hip hop. Artists growing up during this time were heavily influenced by this cultural environment.

Andy Warhol by Albert Watson, 1985

November 12th, 2021|

Albert Watson (born 1942) is a Scottish fashion, celebrity and art photographer. He has shot over 100 covers of Vogue and 40 covers of Rolling Stone magazine since the mid-1970s, and has created major advertising campaigns for clients such as Prada, Chanel and Levis. Watson has also taken some well-known photographs, from the portrait of Steve Jobs that appeared on the cover of his biography, a photo of Alfred Hitchcock holding a plucked goose, and a portrait of a nude Kate Moss taken on her 19th birthday.

Paul’s Legs by Peter Hujar, 1979 | Image of the day

October 25th, 2021|

Peter Hujar (1934 – 1987) was an American photographer best known for his black and white portraits. He has been recognized posthumously as a major American photographer of the late-twentieth century. His countless square format works are direct, yet rendered with evocative tonal contrasts enhanced through his meticulous darkroom process. Among his subjects are scenes of death, the margins of New York's nightlife, cityscapes, landscapes, and intimate pictures of close friends and lovers.

The House of the Ballenesque | Roger Ballen

September 29th, 2021|

Roger Ballen (born 1950) is an American artist living in Johannesburg, South Africa. He born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first, he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people’s doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which were to have a profound effect on his work.

Go to Top