Hiroshi Hayakawa

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Hiroshi Hayakawa’s work addresses the transformation of the physical and conceptual properties of the photographic medium by means of time. Hayakawa’s images are printed on oxidized sheet metal by the application of liquid photo emulsion onto the surface. In this process, the rust on the metal penetrates the image from underneath and becomes part of the image. Time is inherent in the decay of the material that changes with time and challenges the sense of permanence conventionally associated with photographic prints. Female nudes are the main subject matter, providing a ground literally and symbolically, as a catalyst to analyze the transient nature of beauty, echoing the impermanence implied in the material. The process, however, is suggested decay, as the image is preserved by layers of polyurethane. “Some people think the rust of the metal would constantly progress, eat up the image and eventually destroy it,” Hayakawa writes. “Actually, it is pretty stable.” Which certainly gives a sigh of relief to collectors of his work.

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