Future Déjà Vu: Paris follows in the theme of many of Yasuomi Hashimura’s works - focusing on the concept of time and remembrance. When Hashimura creates a photograph, he imagines how it might be viewed 1,000 years from now. In the Paris series, he casts his eye not only on the ancient artworks, but also the architecture, the people and the very energy of the city.
Early on, Hashimura found inspiration in the raw, darkened edging found in platinum prints and decided to push this idea further and make it his own. He studied calligraphy and worked diligently in the darkroom to produce photographs that became multimedia artworks. The calligraphic brushing often simultaneously hides and reveals aspects of the image. In the case of “Eiffel Tower I” the city is obscured, cloudy and darkened by brush strokes, leaving the potential future viewer only a trace of the top of the tower. At times one can see the edges of the photograph, reminding the viewer of the original basis for the artwork. In other works, the edges of the photograph fade away into the calligraphic strokes, merging multiple art practices, creating a new original work in the process.
There is a juxtaposition of the abstract with the concrete in many of the photographs. “Progressions” further emphasizes the idea of a future viewer looking back through the windows of time. Many of the images are shot from a distance, presenting the idea that these are relics from the past. The wide variety of tones present in the treated silver gelatin prints are further emphasized in person, adding a dimension and depth to the images. By combining several artistic talents – photography, darkroom printing, calligraphy – Hashimura has created his own style to match his unique way of viewing the world.
Hashimura remembers becoming fascinated with the concept of time at a young age. ''Growing up, a friend of mine majoring in earth sciences asked me to accompany him to shoot some photographs at a survey of a limestone cave. I learned that it takes sixty years for a stalactite to grow one centimeter. So, a simple calculation revealed that a stalactite one meter long must have taken some six thousand years to form. I recalled being profoundly struck by the mysteries of time in that cave. A stalactite is accreted one drop at a time. It is made possible by each and every one of those drops, just as the world is created one moment at a time.''
The world Yasuomi Hashimura creates in his Future Déjà Vu series does not simply recapitulate the past, but rather, repositions the viewer in the midst of time’s fierce transformations from a point far off in the future. It reexamines the notion of time itself. Here, the past is by no means time that has merely expired, but rather a starting point connected to the future by way of the present.