Photographers of Japan
Vol.12 "Q Ei and photo dessin "
It goes without saying that Q Ei (given name・Sugita Hideo 1911~1960) left some of the greatest footprints on the development of the avant-garde in pre- and post-war Japanese art. His works went beyond oils and watercolors to include etchings, lithographs, and other various media, and his involvement with Demokrat Bijutsu Kyokai (est. 1951) had a great impact on influential figures like Hayakawa Yoshio, Yamashiro Ryuichi, Ay-O, Ikeda Masuo, Yoshihara Hideo, Izumi Shigeru, and Hosoe Eikoh.
What is not as well known is that Q Ei also did notable work in the field of photography. In 1930, before he was recognized as a painter, Q Ei purchased a camera and enrolled in photography school (most likely Oriental College of Photography, a 3 month college established in 1929), where he became absorbed in the production of photographs. During that time, he also actively published essays in Photo Times as Sugita Hideo, including “The free creation of photograms” (1930 August edition), “Towards something greater than art photographs” (1930 December edition), and “In what way should photograms evolve” (1931 February edition). It can be said that young Ei Q/Sugita Hideo’s activity was a response to a period of great change in the world of Japanese photography, where the painterly trend of “geijutsu shashin (art photos)” was giving way to the harbinger of modernism, “shinko shashin (neue Foto)”.
After a brief time spent back in his hometown in Miyazaki, Q Ei returned to Tokyo where he received the help of the painter Hasegawa Saburo and art critic Toyama Usaburo to publish “Nemuri no Riyu (Reason for sleep)” (Geijutsugaku Kenkyukai, ed. 40), a portfolio of 10 new photogram works. The unique photo works, with their cut-out forms and shapes that danced and locked together freely, were dubbed photo-dessin. It was with the publication of “Nemuri no Riyu” that Sugita Hideo began to use the name of Ei Q, and it was certainly this that acted as a major launch pad of Q Ei the artist.
BacknumberVol.12 "Q Ei and
Vol.11 "Fukuhara Shinzo 1883-1948 -- Japanese Landscape Photography"
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