Tokihiro Sato is one of Japan’s best known artists working in photography. Trained as a sculptor, he has been using photography since the late 1980s to express his ideas about light and space. In an ongoing series that he describes as “breath graphs” or “photo respiration,” tiny points of light or illuminated lines record his movements through space. Using a large-format camera set on a tripod and timed for exposures that may last from one to three hours, he moves quickly through the described space. When shooting in daylight, he flashes a mirror at the sun. At night, or indoors, he uses a flashlight. The resulting photographs capture exquisitely detailed scenes punctuated by pinpoints or linear patterns of light that depict the artist’s presence but not his image.
His photographs are part of internationally renowned corporate and private collections and museums, such as the S. Guggenheim Museum New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the Collection Deutsche Bank Frankfurt.