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Tomio Seike: Nude Untitled & Waterscapes    Feb 7 - Mar 4, 2014

Nude Untitled #3
Tomio Seike
Nude Untitled #3, 1995
Nude Untitled #5
Tomio Seike
Nude Untitled #5, 1995
Nude Untitled #9
Tomio Seike
Nude Untitled #9, 1998
Waterscapes #13
Tomio Seike
Waterscapes #13, 1999
Waterscapes #19
Tomio Seike
Waterscapes #19, 1999
Waterscapes #34
Tomio Seike
Waterscapes #34, 2007
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Nude Untitled & Waterscapes

7 February – 4 March 2014


Tomio Seike, born in Tokyo 1943, currently lives between Europe and Japan; he has exhibited globally and is widely recognised as a contemporary master working in a classical style. In this exclusively online exhibition, the second of its kind for Hamiltons, we witness the blend of two bodies of Seike’s work, Waterscapes and Nude Untitled. His meditative work balances exquisitely between the abstract and traditional – and it was said, by Francis Hodgson, that Seike “is the direct counter to all that is strident and immediate and shrill in photography. Given how those emotional registers dominate the photographic world at the moment, it takes a momentary adjustment to settle in front of a group of Tomio Seike’s pictures.”

Initially an accident of fate, Waterscapes developed from a chance photograph taken on a foggy day at Barton Bridge - Waterscapes #1, 1996 - and developed at Seike’s customary own unhurried pace. Although his work emanates a calm serenity, we must not be misled, as Seike’s work is habitually more considered and intricate than a passing assessment might first suggest. Water and reflection play a predominant role in his earlier work and many of the ideas – for example the Seine, pools of rainwater and reflective windows seen in his Paris series - reoccur in Waterscapes. Seike deliberately explores the traditions and technicalities of the photographic medium; with compositional contrasts, atmosphere and with light and dark. “The compositions are deliberate, and give some of his pictures the appearance that they are influenced more by the aesthetic values of traditional painting than by photography. Yet in other pictures the contrasts and spaces he creates are so stark and deliberate, that there can be little doubt about Seike’s photographic heritage.” Andy Cowan.

A similarly measured approach is echoed in Nude Untitled; yet, the link between these two bodies of work runs far deeper than technicalities alone: he creates an atmosphere which imbues each image with mystery, longing, and a sense of quiet wonderment. Again we witness an ethereal, almost haunting other-worldliness; a similar vein of peace and tranquillity. Seike is a master at capturing the quiet moments in life that silently pass, the ordinary moments that so often go unnoticed; “I was never interested in taking pictures of models or well known individuals, I prefer ordinary people in ordinary situations, as you see every day and every moment – nothing special.” Towards the end of the eighties when Seike completed his first series of nudes, exhibited at Hamiltons in 1989, he decided to extend the series - shooting in Paris and the UK - and experimenting predominantly with abstraction and size.

Seike graduated from The Japanese Photographic Academy in 1970 and has since worked as a portrait photographer and within the fashion industry. He has exhibited throughout Europe, Japan and America and his work resides in a number of private and public collections including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Maison Européene de la Photographie and the Bibliotèque Nationale Paris amongst others.

To view the exhibition, and for further information and prices, please see Hamiltons Gallery website: www.hamiltonsgallery.com

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