Shinro Ohtake


resin covered on laminated chromogenic analog print
58 1/4 x 43 1/4 x 3 3/8 inches

mounted on wooden panel

It’s that idea of taking the debris left from something that has already passed, putting it in a new context, and admiring it as something completely new. — Shinro Ohtake

Shinro Ohtake’s Retina series is hard to pin down. Some works in the series are sculptural assemblages covered in hundreds of found images and Polaroids. Others are large color-field like photographic abstractions, seen here in Retina/Boundary Scene 9, made by exposing and enlarging pieces of film, and then covering them with resin. Sources of inspiration for the series vary, but all are connected to notions of vision. In part, these works are inspired by failed Polaroids Ohtake found in the trash. Materially, these photos are light-sensitive chemicals and paper – the debris of looking and recording, crumpled and frozen moments of sight. Also around this time, Ohtake began thinking about images formed on the retina when the eyes were closed, considering the birth of an image on the inner surface of the eye. Retina/Boundary Scene 9 resonates as a tactile image showing the oozes and creases of a photo-chemical process, as well as a luminous, abstract void. Ohtake’s Scrapbooks were shown in the 2013 Venice Biennale, and in 2014, he was awarded one of Japan’s most prestigious art awards – The Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Minister’s Award for Fine Arts 2013-2014.