SHIGERU ONISHI: THE POSSIBILITY OF EXISTENCE
September 17, 2021 - January 9, 2022
With his expressive, avant-garde images, Japanese mathematician-turned-artist Shigeru Onishi (1928–1994) burst into the photography scene in the 1950’s, just to disappear from it within a few short years. Born in the small town of Takahashi, he obtained a PhD in mathematics before trying his hand at photography, employing a number of highly innovative darkroom techniques to produce a series of unorthodox photomontages, in which we see nudes, trees and cityscapes merge into one another. By experimenting with multiple exposures, discoloration with acetic acid, and brushing emulsion directly onto his photographs, Onishi brought the elements of chance and gesture directly into the conceptual framework of his practice. Although he soon grew wary of the photographic world and turned his attention to abstract Sumi-e ink paintings, his work paved the way for future avant-garde photography movements.
In collaboration with MEM and Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, FOAM presents the very first European solo exhibition of his photographic works.