Rainbow within A Dark Box — Pinhole photographs by Yoshi Higa
Edited and Published by The Mainichi Newspapers
1-1-1 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
©2004 Yoshi Higa
A monograph of abstracted images drawn from man-made constructions and natural forms that explore how ones understanding of dimension, space, texture and weight can be
manipulated by the deliberate deconstruction of their form through the camera. In this series of Higa’s pinhole images, static structures are transformed into dynamic
dancing figures suspended in unlimited space.
“Our sense of reality informs our knowledge that the photograph, although taken from life, is in fact an illusion on a
sheet of paper. Multiplying that reality will take it even further from our experience of it, much as our experience is altered when sound and light are multiplied beyond the
single note or the single ray of light.”
Higa weaves his reality in Polaroid photographs taken in some of the places he visits most. In the U.S. it is
Manhattan’s skyscrapers; in Japan, views of Kyoto Station and temples; and in Okinawa, of Shuri Castle and ocean cliffs.
While using a camera without mechanical
shutter or viewfinder requires guesswork, unlike today’s film or digital cameras, the discovery of the unexpected within the aesthetic of the pinhole photographer can be
used to advantage. Perfection doesn’t come automatically, but using Polaroid film does gives the advantage of viewing results in situ, and the opportunity to re-shoot until
Higa has been building pinhole cameras since 1971. He made his first camera from cardboard and has since used simple, found containers like cigar boxes and tea
cans. For young children, he has developed a pinhole camera that uses a roll of film.
Rainbow within A Dark Box was published in conjunction with Yoshi Higa’s solo
exhibition of over 75 pinhole photographs at Shionoe Museum, Shikoku, Japan.