Takeshi Shikama (b. 1948, Japan)
In 2002, Takeshi Shikama turned to photography after a career in the field of design. He was drawn to forests as the subject for his large format camera. It was the “invisible world”, hidden behind the “visible” that he worked to capture. His first photo collection was published in 2007 as Mori no Hida - Silent Respiration of Forests. This project became the launch of his lifetime endeavor.
Roaming the forests, he trained his lens to capture the scenes of fleeting moments of all living things such as plants and flowers about to wither, streams of flowing water, or shadows cast by trees. Using a handy Hasselblad camera, he began a new body of work in five parts. Utsuroi - Evanescence: Forest, Field, Lotus, Garden and Landscape.
As Shikama’s thoughts of the forest grew, he ventured out from Japan, expanding his vision to capture new locations and landscapes, working in America and in Europe. He added new series Yosemite and the Pacific Northwest in Mori no Hida - Silent Respiration of Forests.
Also, his gaze projected on manmade nature in metropolis created a new series : Urban Forests - New York City’s Central Park, Jardin du Luxambourg, Paris, Milan and Barcelona.
While preserving a continuity with his first opus Mori no Hida - Silent Respiration of Forests and echoing Utsuroi – Evanescence series , Takeshi Shikama’s new photographs constitute an alternate body of work, Kansyo - Contemplation which are the images given from once-in-a-life time encounters. Currently they are in 10 parts, The Netherlands, Ancient Stones, Isle of Skye, Great Bretain, Galicia, France, Dolomiti, Kyoto,Ise and Yukawa vallery.
In addition, his travels inspired another series, Bi no Tani - Valley of Beauty which were photographed in Spain and Italy. And Il Giardino Segreto (Seacret Garden) was born from his visit to Berlin in Germany and Bomarzo in Italy.
Garden of Memory - Animals, Plants, Seeds are the creation which he began in 2008. Conceived like a contemporary Noah’s Ark, he has been photographing the images of stuffed animals in dioramas in the natural history museums and the taxidermy shop, also greenhouse plant specimens and dried seeds. Then, in 2016 and 2017, he created the prints wishing to hand those portraits over to the future generations.
Shikama’s work has been shown internationally throughout Great Britian and Europe, in the United States, and consistently in Japan. His work is in public and private collections around the world.