Hiroshi Sugimoto is best known for black and white photographs of particular subjects that he has explored in depth over many years: images of natural-history dioramas, wax-figure installations, sublime seascapes, and ornate movie theater interiors. Through his art he seeks to provoke fundamental questions about the relationship between photography and time, and the nature of reality.
Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948, and raised there. From an early age he became interested in science and history, as well as in making things. He took up photography in middle school, using his father's camera to document trains in order to build small-scale models of them. As a teenager his interest in photography blossomed. He studied politics and sociology and majored in economics while at college (Rikkyo University and St. Paul's University, Tokyo).
Sugimoto moved to the United States in 1970 to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he focused on photography. He relocated to New York City in 1974, and at a time when street photography prevailed, he began using a large format camera to explore conceptual ideas.
Each of Sugimoto's projects is rooted in a sustained exploration of a singular motif. He is able to find relationships between diverse disciplines--art, science, and religion--considering them as modes of inquiry, representation, and information. He views photography as an ancient and inherent form of seeing, a means to analyze the nature of the world.