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Solo show: Taiji Matsue - JP-22 (over)

8 September 2006 until 14 October 2006
  Taiji Matsue
Taiji Matsue
JP-22, 27
"JP-22, 27", c-print, 50 x 61 cm
2005 L.A. Galerie – Lothar Albrecht

L.A. Galerie – Lothar Albrecht
Domstraße 6
60311 Frankfurt/Main
Germany (city map)

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tel +49-(0)69-28 86 87

L. A. Galerie Lothar Albrecht presents:
Taiji Matsue JP-22

September 8 to October 14, 2006

We cordially invite you and your friends to attend the opening on Friday, September 8, 2006, at 7 p.m.

If you take an airplane ride over an area you already know from the ground, you will almost automatically try to make out familiar details from the air. Given such an unfamiliar perspective, the eye searches for unmistakable structures, for features which make it possible to identify and name what is seen and experienced.

Trying to reach a sort of agreement between the abstract geography of a map and the diachrony with which - by moving in it - we normally experience our environment, is an especially fascinating game.

The 2005 series JP-22 of Japanese artist Taiji Matsue evokes similar feelings of incongruence. The sharpness and accuracy of the series, down to the last detail, are only a reflection of how the viewer is intrigued, strained almost, to look ever more closely into the pictures - the impression being that with the right visual aid (such as a magnifying glass or a microscope), one could see so much more than is possible with the naked eye; as if one needed binoculars on a permanent basis to really grasp the world: There always seems to be more information contained in the images than can be apprehended directly.

The tension between the orderly, geometric structures of buildings or roads on the one hand and the erratic, multifaceted areas covered with vegetation, or sand dunes shaped by the sea and the winds on the other hand, makes every picture a new search for the compositional laws guiding the individual parts; a search that the European eye at least prefers to conduct on the basis of axes and geometrical figures. The images hence change in the course of the viewing process: the quest for something specific, recognizable, something one can relate to, clashes with an attention for the merely visual, for the composition, which at the end of the day is but a mirror of the innate laws governing the structures of landscapes.

Matsue, both photographer and geologist, has been working on a project to record the Earth's surface for many years. In austere black-and-white photographs he has captured natural and urban landscapes of the different continents with their characteristic features. Those landscapes that went on to become part of Matsue's artful compositions had to fulfill a number of criteria: Viewed from above (from a high position), they all exhibit their usually quite homogeneous structures. In the natural landscapes, traces of a human presence are not visible, except for such timeless features as the terraced olive groves in Galicia or a quarry on the island of Crete that has possibly stood since ancient times.

In the city landscapes, on the other hand, with houses as far as the eyes can see, significant buildings (like the acropolis in Athens) only become visible at second or third glance. Matsue's photos are neither anecdotal nor souvenir-like.

Equably sharp, with a high resolution and almost monotonous lighting, they unfold their fine gray tones and restrainedly provide an analytic, structuralist view of the landscapes.

The photographic JP-22 series interrupted this eternal project. By order of the Japanese government, Matsue recorded the area of the Shizuoka prefecture (located at the south-eastern coast of Honshu, the country's main island) in a series of 81 photographs. "JP-22" is the geographical code for this region, as determined by the International Organization of Standardization, or ISO.

This series differed from Matsue's earlier works in several ways - there was an external contracting authority, the artist was limited to an exactly defined area which was to be documented as thoroughly as possible, and the suitability of a landscape was not an issue. In addition, he now had a plane at his disposal from which to take aerial pictures and hence, no longer dependent on finding elevated points on the ground, was able to include flatland areas as well. Finally, and this is probably the most striking difference, this series is in color. In Matsue's high-resolution photographs, the colors unfold their own differentiating qualities. The trees in the woods with their manifold shades of green or the blue tones of the ocean invite, almost command, one to become immersed in them. Anachronistic as it may be, the analyzing, exploring contemplation of these seemingly indefinite variations develops into an aesthetic experience of its own.

Bettina Schmitt
(Translated by Simone Schede)

Taiji Matsue

1963 Born in Tokyo, Japan
Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan


1996 Higashikawa Prize
2002 27th Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award

Solo Exhibitions

Cohen Amador Gallery, New York (2006); The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka (2006); Museum Schloss Moyland, Germany (2005);
NADiff, Tokyo (2005); L. A. Galerie, Frankfurt (1999, 2003); Kohji Ogura Gallery, Nagoya (2001); Staff Gallery, New York (1999); Taro
Nasu Gallery, Tokyo (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006); il tempo, Tokyo (1993); Zeit-Foto Salon, Tokyo (1987, 1992-1999)


Taiji Matsue JP-22, (monograph), Daiwa Radiator Factory, Tokyo

gazetter, Daiwa Radiator Factory
CC Taiji Matsue, Daiwa Radiator Factory
In-between 7 Taiji Matsue, UK, Slovakia, EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee
Taiji Matsue, Landscapes, Museum Schloss Moyland, Kerber Verlag

gazetteer, WIDES Shuppan
Taiji Matsue, Ugeyan

MATSUE Taiji, Hysteric Glamour

Public Collections

Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo; Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki;
Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama; Higashikawa Town, Hokkaido;
Japan Foundation; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo;
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern
Art, San Francisco; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Kushiro
Art Museum, Hokkaido; Fonds National d'art Contemporain (France)


- On October 14, 2006, at 6 p.m. we will present Bas Meerman's newly published book, Journal intime. The book was edited by Peter Weiermair and published by Allsaintspress. On the occasion of the book presentation, L. A. Gallery will show Bas Meerman's drawings. Both the artist and the editor will be present.

- Oliver Boberg, Pages, October 19 to December 31, 2006


- Art Cologne, November 1 to 5, 2006
L. A. Gallery will present works of Julian Faulhaber within the framework of the Art Cologne's New Talents support program ("Förderkoje" section).


- Peter Bialobrzeski
Die Liebe zum Licht, Celle Museum of Art, July 19 to September 27, 2006
10th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale di Venezia: Cities, architecture and society, September 10 to November 19, 2006

- Oliver Boberg
Spectacular City, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, September 23, 2006 to January 7, 2007;
NRW Forum, Düsseldorf, January 26 to May 6, 2007
Out of the Camera. Analoge Fotografie im digitalen Zeitalter, Bielefelder Kunstverein, October 27 to December 22, 2006

- Naoya Hatakeyama
Berlin - Tokyo / Tokyo - Berlin, Berlin National Gallery,
June 8 to October 3, 2006
Spectacular City, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam,
September 23, 2006 to January 7, 2007;
NRW Forum, Düsseldorf, January 26 to May 6, 2007

- Ken Lum
Projekt Westpassage, permanent installation, Karlsplatz/Friedrichstrasse,Vienna, Opening: August 2006

- Taiji Matsue
Spectacular City, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, September 23, 2006 to January 7, 2007;
NRW Forum, Düsseldorf, January 26 to May 6, 2007

- Tracey Moffatt
Tracey Moffatt, Between Dreams and Reality - Solo exhibition, Spazio Oberdan: Museum of Contemporary Photography, Milan,
July 27 to September 27, 2006. Accompanied by a catalogue.
Das achte Feld. Geschlechter, Leben und Begehren in der Kunst seit 1960, Museum Ludwig Köln, August 19 to November 12, 2006

- Susa Templin
Susa Templin. Berlin Barock. Fotoarbeiten über die Stadt Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, October 20, 2006 to February 21, 2007


- Taiji Matsue, "Taiji Matsue JP-22," Tokyo 2006
- Naoya Hatakeyama, "Zeche Westfalen I/II Ahlen," Tucson, Arizona, USA 2006
- Feng Boyi (curator), Li Xianting et al. (texts), "Ren Xiaolin," Beijing 2006
- Feng Boyi, Li Xu, Hoang Liaoyuan (texts), "Zhao Nengzhi," L.A. Gallery Beijing 2005

No 319., Cao Chang di, Cui Ge Zhuang Village, East End Art
Chaoyang District, Da Shanzi 71# Mail Box,
Beijing 100015, P.R.China
Tel. 0086-10 64325093, 64325073

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