True to form, Yasuomi Hashimura is always searching for something unique; a new approach, something previously unseen, some new information to bring forth into the world to both excite the viewer and to challenge himself. When Hashimura first started exploring the methods and concepts that would make up his globe-spanning Future Déjà Vu series, it was out of a sort of inner restlessness. The act of making a print, the print as final form of image, was not satisfying enough for Hashimura. It struck him; instead of submerging the paper in chemicals to develop the image, what if he brought the chemical up to meet the paper? What if he used the very act of chemical reaction itself as a medium? Hashimura began to apply chemicals onto the photographic paper with a brush. In this way he began to paint the images into existence, revealing what was already there underneath, through gesture and considered expression. “Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.” -- Daisetsu.T. Suzuki
With this approach Hashimura had gotten halfway there. He had this new mode of image
production, yet something was still missing. Hashimura wanted to create something more
immediate; an object, or possibly an artifact. Hashimura began to treat the paper, tearing its
edges to reveal frayed layers and textures once buried. Additionally, Hashimura used a series of
brushes to to create depth with gestural marks. Finally, he had what he was looking for: a
photograph as painting, as sculptural object; all in one. It also marks a sort of “return to the
source”, or homecoming for Hashimura. He never consciously set out to harness aspects from his
heritage while bringing these pieces to life. It was only in retrospect, after the fact, when people
started mentioning phrases like wabi-sabi and sumi-e to him that the subconscious connection
was made. There is an undeniable Zen atmosphere to the work of Hashimura, after all, he deals
with subjects of time and transience constantly. The sumi-e aspect of the work then becomes
apparent in how Hashimura applies his brush. By transmuting photography into the three
dimensional realm, Hashimura had been reaching back into his own cultural history to an ancient
artistic mode. As a result, he has brought forth a new form of sumi-e.
Here we see public spaces, Zen Buddhist temples and abstracted shapes all suspended in sublime clouds of ammonium thiosulfate staining. Hashimura is a master at showing us time from unorthodox angles and thus broadening our understanding of reality. Future Déjà Vu: Japan is a commentary on how culture, people and art change over time. Here, photography becomes sculpture, architecture becomes document, Japanese Ink-Painting becomes modernized and Hashimura’s own history sits fully revealed for all to see.