ARTIST FOCUS #03 SUMIDA KAZUO: Tosa Late Night Diary - Utsusemi

Sat. 29 Oct. 2022 - Mon. 09 Jan. 2023

Closed: December 27 - January 1
Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Admission Fee: Adults 370 JPY, University Students 260 JPY, Free admission for high school students and below
Organized by The Museum of Art, Kochi (Kochi Prefecture Cultural Foundation)
Nominal support by Nankoku City, The Kochi Shimbun, Kochi Broadcasting Co., Ltd., TV Kochi Broadcasting Co., Ltd., Kochi SUN SUN TV, Kochi Cable Broadcast, FM Kochi, Kochi City FM
Supported by The Asahi Shimbun Foundation


Volume 3 in the “ARTIST FOCUS” series is an exhibition of works by Sumida Kazuo, a photographer based in Nankoku, Kochi.

Due to his difficulties with personal relations from an early age, Sumida spent most of his distressful adolescence shutting himself up in his room. His encounter with photography as a means of connecting to the outside world came around the age of 20, when he was given a camera by his brother. The camera has been his guide ever since, while Sumida has continued to expand his scope of expression and field of activity.

This exhibition focuses on three series of photographs taken in Kochi, where Sumida has been based consistently, using infrared film that captures light invisible to the naked eye. Featured here are “Night of the Full Moon,” one of Sumida’s earliest series framing parks and forests in the darkness of night as mental landscapes; “Tosa Late Night Diary,” comprising photos taken in the 1980s at amusement quarters including a gay bar where Sumida’s uncle used to work; and finally, “Tosa Late Night Diary 2,” the latest series for which the photographer, three decades later, pointed his camera once again at sceneries of Kochi during the pandemic. Together the works on display illustrate the uniquely lyrical quality of Sumida Kazuo’s photographic work.

“Utsusemi,” the title of this exhibition, literally means “this world” or “people in this life.” The featured black-and-white photographs are results of Sumida’s endeavors projecting his own feelings of weakness and loneliness onto his subjects, and capture at once the profound darkness of the night, and the intense, almost dazzling light that those inhabiting it radiate. We hope that these works by Sumida Kazuo, who considers shooting and darkroom work as a “therapy” for himself, will inspire viewers to quietly reflect on themselves, and develop a real sense of living individually in this world and in this life.

*ARTIST FOCUS is an exhibition series introducing artists from or related to Kochi, recommended by the museum’s curators regardless of genre or age.

*Some of the displays at this exhibition contain sexually explicit depictions.

Related Events

Talk session with the artist
The artist himself will be present to talk about his works.
Date: November 3, 11:00-12:00
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi, Exhibition Room 4 (1F)
[Admission free, no reservation required]
[To commemorate the anniversary of the museum’s opening, general admission is free on November 3] 

Talk session with guest
Special guest for this talk session will be photography critic Iizawa Kotaro.
Date: December 10, 14:00-15:30 (doors open at 13:30)
Guests: Iizawa Kotaro (photo critic), Sumida Kazuo
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi, Museum Hall [Admission free, reservation required]

Lecture “From LGBT to Queer and SOGIE”
Discussed at this event are issues related to human rights and changing ways of talking about sexuality, based on the “Tosa Late Night Diary.”
Date: December 25, 14:00-15:30 (doors open at 13:30)
Panelists: Social Ally Conatsu Hut [Nagasawa Kimiko (professor at University of Kochi), Ito Marina (authorized psychologist), Hamaguchi Reo]
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi, Lecture Room (1F) [Admission free, reservation required]

Cross talk
The artist and the museum’s curator in charge discuss the exhibition in a dialogue style.
Date: January 7, 2023, 14:00-15:30 (doors open at 13:30)
Panelists: Sumida Kazuo, Asakura Mei (curator, The Museum of Art, Kochi)
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi, Lecture Room (1F) [Admission free, reservation required]

SUMIDA Kazuo[角田和夫]

Born 1952 in Kochi, currently resides in Nankoku City. Stayed in New York in 1999 according to the Overseas Study Program for Artists promoted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, after which he frequently returned to the US for photo shootings. Won the Tadahiko Hayashi Award in 2002. His works have been featured at international art fairs such as Paris Photo and AIPAD, and included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Denver Art Museum. Main publications include the photo books A Story of the New York Subway and Memories of My Father: A Journey to Siberia (both 2002), as well as Tosa Late Night Diary (2014).

d5aa09a68ea76f36f99bcc8d820d70bd4f1aeb84.jpgFrom "Night of the Full Moon" 1984-86 (ca.)

06c1725138d597fb52347682bd3fdcd66df37a4f.jpgFrom "Tosa Late Night Diary" 1984-90

009_DSC_087.jpgFrom "Tosa Late Night Diary" 1984-90

tsn2.jpgFrom "Tosa Late Night Diary 2" 2020-22

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