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Kazuo Sumida Photo Exhibition New York -Night and Day

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 - change?

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.

Kazuo Sumida

KAZUO SUMIDA Profile

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)

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

1999
Agency for Cultural Affairs Fellowship, International Center of Photography (ICP), New York, USA
2002
Tokuyama City Museum Permanent Collection as recipient of the 11th Tadahiko Hayashi Photography Award (Title: “A Story Of the New York Subway.”)
2004
Kodak Photo Salon, Tokyo (Title: “A Journey to Siberia: Memories of my Father.”)
2005
OK Harris Works of Art, New York (Title: “New York Days, New York Nights”)
ARKA Gallery, Vladivostok, Russia (Title: “Vladivostok Daytime.”)
2006
Joint Exhibition with Kami City Museum of Art, Kochi (Title: “Thinking on Peace - A Siberian Perspective.”)
2010
Kodak Photo Salon, Tokyo (Title: “My Journey to Siberia.”)
2011
Arlatino Gallery in Arles, France (Title: “New York Offer.”)
2013
Chicago museum collection, USA (Title: “Notes from Underground: Memories of my Uncle.”)
Laurence Miller Gallery, New York (Title: “Notes from Underground: Memories of my Uncle.”)
2014
De La Salle College Of Saint Benilde School Of Design Arts in Philippines Professor
Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service: Visiting Lecturer in Photography
2016
THE PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW / AIPAD, Park Avenue Armory, N.Y.C.
Sony Imaging Gallery, Tokyo (Title: “Manila Late Night Diary”)
2017
Laurence Miller Gallery, New York (Title: “The Big Apple from Tycoon to Raccoons”)
2019
JULIE SAUL GALLERY, New York (Title: “ The Space Between Curated by Edna Cardinale”)