Photo Montages of Tsunehisa Kimura
March 25, 2011 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Tsunehisa Kimura (1928-2008) was a Japanese artist best known for his photomontage art. There doesn't seem to be much about him in online in English, beyond reiterations of the same three images that BLDG BLOG copied from the 1979 book Visual Scandals, and a few short pages that are related to an interview on Australian radio back in 2002. Yet his imagery has caught the eye of various musical groups over the years, including Midnight Oil, Paul Schütze, and most recently, Cut/Copy join the fanclub, with their cover for Zonoscope.

Odd fact 1: Paul Schütze, Midnight Oil and Cut/Copy are all Australian.

Odd fact 2: in the Cut/Copy making of an album video that is featured in the last link above the break, you can see the possible source of their cover art inspiration: Climax Blues Band - Flying the Flag, where Tsunehisa Kimura's New York waterfall/skyline has been modified for the cheerier, now featuring an out-of-scale sailboat and a happy rainbow coming out of the waterfall.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
For more (possible) photomontages by Kimura, you can search images related to his name in Japanese.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:03 PM on March 25, 2011

These are remarkable. Did you run across anything about his technique? There was some mention of scissors in one of the radio transcripts, but I'm betting he actually traveled to the future and used photoshop...
posted by steambadger at 5:41 PM on March 25, 2011

Some of his processes are discussed in the first Australian radio link ("a few"):
As well as trying to photograph a world that doesn't exist, photomontage is, he explains, 'like meeting a whole lot of different people on a railway station'. Kimura did his fair share of snipping and pasting to produce the effect. For a poster he made to promote the Butoh performance company Byakkosha, he cut out and glued more than 200 separate images of human bodies. Starting with the photocopier he has graduated through every bit of new technology as it came out.

The real change, says Kimura, came with the digital scanner, but it also tempts and challenges the montage artist to make everything look as good as a real photograph. To conceal those joins. Nowadays, he says only supercomputers can handle his work, although his ideas and imagination, are the real 'software' at work. Rather than cutting out familiar pictures, Kimura takes his own pictures, directing a team of photographers and art directors rather like a film director. Then he assembles their stills into new scenes.
The "nowadays" was in 2002, by the way.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:26 PM on March 25, 2011

Thank for posting this, I've seen some of the more famous pieces before, and cool to see his debt to John Heartfield acknowledged in one of the links.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:46 PM on March 25, 2011

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