Open the search area of the siteく
Kazuo Sumida will present a gallery talk with guest speaker Isao Murayama, head of Photo Communication Company.
The memory of the first James Bond movie I saw as a child, Goldfinger, is
still vivid in my mind even though I am over 60 years old now. The car Sean
Connery’s classic agent used was an Aston Martin equipped with bulletproof
windows, missile launchers, machine guns, and a device that could jettison
the person sitting in the passenger seat out of the car. It also had a navigation
system, a futuristic accessory at that time. It was a dream car for a
12-year-old boy who watched in awe. I was overwhelmed and riveted by this
film with powerful images accompanied by a beautiful music soundtrack.
The love scene with Connery and actress Shirley Eaton, one of the Bond
Girls, was something beyond anything I’d ever seen in movies with Japanese
actresses. I was excited with the feeling that I was secretly peeping in on a
world whose access was not allowed to kids.
When I arrived in New York City during my first visit to the United States in
1995, I was instantly reminded of the feeling I had watching Goldfinger as a
child. The city’s culture that cherished artists and exuded an atmosphere of
American expressionism sucked me right in.
At the same time, I cannot deny I was also gripped by the fear of racism that
I knew to be an integral part of American society. As a Japanese, I was bewildered
as to how I should deal with my feelings about it. So for me, being in
New York in 1995 was a mixed bag of fear and excitement. But I was so enchanted
by the city that I pushed through my anxiety and ended up visiting it
numerous times - I’ve truly lost count - to capture its images in my photos.
And I learned that my initial fears were generally unfounded.
Today, with Donald Trump’s stormy reign as President of the United States,
my fascination with New York has been reinvigorated. I am curious about
how his tenure as the nation’s leader has affected his hometown. I wonder
how New York, with its respect for artists, will face its future now that President
Trump is hoisting the banner of white supremacy and creating a harsher
atmosphere across the land. How will the city - with its traditionally steely atmosphere
In these next series of photos, I want to revisit that Goldfinger-inspired feeling
I had when I first visited the city while also exploring its place in an America
with an uncertain future.
Born in Kochi City in 1952. Graduated from Mechanical Department of Kochi Technical
High School, and then Osaka Photography Graduate School, Osaka, Japan.
A member of Japan Photographers Association (JPA)