Hiroshi Sugimoto
[Photographer, b. 1948, Tokyo, lives in New York.]

 If I already have a vision, my work is almost done. The rest is a technical problem. 
 Fossils work almost the same way as photography... as a record of history. The accumulation of time and history becomes a negative of the image. And this negative comes off, and the fossil is the positive side. This is the same as the action of photography. 
 I’m inviting the spirits into my photography. It’s an act of God. 
 When people call me a photographer, I always feel like something of a charlatan—at least in Japanese. The word shashin, for photograph, combines the characters sha, meaning to reflect or copy, and shin, meaning truth, hence the photographer seems to entertain grand delusions of portraying truth. 
 I live in the shadow... I like shadow, that’s why I became a black and white photographer. 
 People have been reading photography as a true document, at the same time they are now getting suspicious. I am basically an honest person, so I let the camera capture whatever it captures... whether you believe it or not is up to you; it’s not my responsibility, blame my camera, not me. 
 I didn’t want to be criticized for taking low-quality photographs, so I tried to reach the best, highest quality of photography and then to combine this with a conceptual art practice. But thinking back, that was the wrong decision [laughs]. Developing a low-quality aesthetic is a sign of serious fine art—I still see this. 
 Before the invention of movies was the invention of photography. To make a movie, you have to sew single-shot photographic images together to make it look like a movie. It is all an illusion to the human eye. 
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