Hiroshi Sugimoto's Lightning Photography

<p>Electric currents captured in black and white images.</p>

Sometimes we come across artists and photographers who achieve dazzling, high-tech looking results without using high-end technology, for example Luka Klikovac’s dancing underwater colors and Jessica Eaton’s geometric prints using traditional film developing techniques. Whether or not these are counted as “new” media artworks is debatable, but we find their scientific approach to experimentation to be in the spirit of the original enthusiasm that drives technological art today. After all, every artistic technique started out as an advancement.

Like his other works that use the gelatin silver print technique, Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lightning Field series captures light and frames it in intriguing patterns. In order to personally witness what early scientists like Benjamin Franklin saw upon discovery of electricity, Sugimoto put away his camera and introduced a Van de Graaf Generator into his studio. He then began firing off high-voltage electrical charges indirectly onto film. The end product appears as though he fearlessly grabbed lightning from the sky and put it under a microscope.

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s first solo exhibition in China will open at Pace Gallery, Beijing on May 12th, 2012.