William Corey | ENABLING AWARENESS: Going Beyond Description

The late photographer William Corey devoted over three decades of his life to photographing the gardens of Kyoto, or what he referred to as “the good that mankind was capable of —those successful integrations of man and his environment.” The photographer who approaches these gardens is faced with the very formidable task of trying to use one art form to do justice to another. If the photographer is successful, he or she must somehow convey the truth of the first medium in terms that are true to the second. This was the task that William Corey so admirably undertook in his monumental study of the gardens of Japan. To achieve this, William might spend days looking at a garden before even bringing his equipment. He mostly used the panoramic, large-format 8x20 inch banquet camera. Although challenging to use, its extremely large negative size (100 times the size of a 35mm negative) allows much more information to be captured on film—details are accentuated, the tonal scale enriched and extended, the sense of reality enhanced. William describes his aim below: “The customary manner of photographing the gardens has been to ‘document’ them, the primary purpose being descriptive, educational, and picturesque. Japanese gardens are far from a common subject in the realm of fine art photography. They elude our customary notion of what a garden is, and the intentions behind them are not easily read, particularly by those outside the culture. By inclination and training, my approach to garden photography is different—more personal and interpretive—a matter of detailed perceiving that, like the gardens themselves, requires reverence, respect, and time. My aim has been to go beyond description.” William’s goal was always to “extend the traditional boundaries of color landscape photography and through the essence of this beauty enhance the mutual understanding between Japan and the West.” William made over 500 large-format color negatives during his lifetime, yet his work is little known in Japan. This is his first solo exhibition in Kyoto.

Curator | Reimi Adachi
Cooperation | Frame man

Venue | Shoyeido Kunjyukan Shogin Lobby

Address |Karasuma Nijo, Nakagyoku, Kyoto  >Google Map

Open: 9/1-9/28 10:00-17:00
Open everyday
Tel: 075-212-5590

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