Invisible Machinery the Artistic Project of Toru Ukai 鵜養 透

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articolo in italiano



Toru Ukai 鵜養 透 is a Japanese photographer, from Tokyo, active since 1985 and known in much of Europe (Poland, Belgium, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland) where he has exhibited in numerous photo exhibitions, festivals and magazines. He won an award in the seventh edition of "New Cosmos of Photography", and in an oltralpe magazine, a few years ago, he published a photo book of his artistic project: "Invisible machinery

To understand the artist and his project, you have to understand what he means by the expression "Invisible machinery", translatable with "invisible mechanism": so, first of all, let's ask ourselves a question: What are we surrounded by? From society, of course.

And what is today's society characterized by?

The answers to this question can be multiple, depending on purely subjective values, but in fact, at the basis of everything, if you reason with a critical eye, is there not a kind of” structure“,”a precise scheme with unwritten rules"?

Even to this question, almost everyone could answer variously, but always in a subjective way and anyway they would not be things that can be investigated instrumentally.


Invisible machinery


So, what exactly does Toru Ukai do?

Through the medium of photography, he discovers this "invisible system", mostly unknown as there is, but we do not notice it, and puts it before our eyes, with disarming evidence.

These photos are set in various corners of Tokyo, portraying ordinary people or in any case suggestive glimpses, in a hyperrealistic way.

Summarily they are still images on the daily reality of a country, Japan, taken from an inner point of view, unpainted, naked and raw, without filters.

Moments of normalcy stopped and suspended in time as only photography can produce, as you do with the stuffed animals, but the difference is, to them, so made, be deprived of life, do not have a soul, the inner light, or vital spark, the people, yes, and even though they have been interrupted by the eye, an investigator of the lens, gestures, expressions, unconsciously, it shines and shines, enhancing the “Invisible Mechanism” that lies behind the actions, even the most spontaneous.


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I found it unfortunate that he has never been invited to exhibit in Italy, in spite of our is not only a Country of “artistic”, but also where many of us declare themselves to be lovers of Japan, so to remedy the problem, I wrote this article, and agree with the artist, I leave you all the link where you can admire his photos.

                                                                                                                  Samantha Sisto

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Photo Credit: Toru Ukai