Tomoyuku Sakaguchi was born in Kagawa, Japan in 1969, and currently lives and works in Tokyo. In 1995 Sakaguchi received a Masters of Science from the University of Tokyo before eventually deciding to pursue photography. At the beginning of the decade Sakaguchi attended classes at the Nippon Photography Institute, as well as a workshop run by Masato Seto (Picnic, Binran). Sakaguchi has been exhibiting his work in since 2000, and in 2007 he was a runner-up for the Aperture Portfolio Award. Sakaguchi’s first book Home, from which this photo is taken, was published in 2007 by Sokyu-sha, and garnered him the annual award from the Society of Photography (Japan) in 2008.
I first saw Tomoyuki Sakaguchi‘s images of suburban Tokyo when I was in my third year of a photography BA and something of a transparency film snob. Everything had to be film, and the only purpose of digital was quick and dirty snapshots. Sakaguchi’s work was the catalyst that suddenly pointed out that fine art photography is not strictly the reserve of film. The appeal of Sakaguchi’s series Home is, for me, how effectively it marries the ‘look’ of digital photography to the content of the series. The strange quality of light and the unnatural saturation and tonality of the greenery have a uniquely digital aesthetic.
This glossy plasticity is at odds with an American photographer whose work provides an interesting counterpoint. Todd Hido’s large format series Homes at Night embodies everything Sakaguchi’s work eschews. Where Homes at Night is dark, subdued and atmospheric, Home is vibrant and saturated. Hido’s images are stuck in the past, whereas Sakaguchi’s are unashamedly modern. We need only look at the cars in Sakaguchi’s images to confirm this. They are brightly coloured, compact, utilitarian. They are also, in a very real sense, the main characters in this odd little nocturnal drama. They occupy each image with surprising presence and vitality, providing a link to the sleeping residents of each home.
[In addition to Silas’ selection of images from Sakaguchi’s Home, we’re also pleased to present a small gallery of work from Sakaguchi from his earliest series “Mado” (2002) and his most recent work, “Ita☆Sha” (2009). — ed.]