Seiichi Furuya's photographs relentlessly highlight the cruel aspect of "shooting" a photograph. It is a materialistic act of severing the familiar relationship between the subject and the object, as well as the viewer and the object. Furuya is a photographer who totally excludes any lyrical vagueness from his images, even when his most intimate moments or his late wife are the subject. His work deploys a sharp tension that can seem like a cutting knife. Thus it seems no coincidence that he has taken up the theme of severance in his Border series, in which he shot the border zone between Austria, where he lived, and the Eastern European nations, and Wall, where he shot the Berlin Wall from the Eastern side before its collapse. In these works, the importance lies not in the old-fashioned melodramatic tragedy of crossing a boundary, but in the fact that the place in question is the remnant of an historical severance. This volume catalogues work Furuya has created over the past 25 years, in Europe, Japan, and the United States, including his latest series, which concentrates on his own neighborhood of Graz, transforming in into images of intense color and magical beauty.
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SEIICHI FURUYA ALIVEUser Review - Book Verdict
A windswept beach at Okinawa, a burlesque show in Berlin, and shadows and light in Vienna all hold their place in this gathering of Furuya's wide-ranging photographic work. According to essayist Faber, Furuya's scattershot oeuvre is a reflection of his"constant compulsion to secure his individual existence through the photographic record," and the lack of unifying themes or conceits underscores a commitment to recording life in all its synaptic, disjointed wonder. Furuya's philosophy, Faber explains, is to let the scenes he encounters dictate his destiny, and not vice versa. The artist even declines to title his works (merely recording the city and year that they were taken) in order to recast them as experiences rather than creations. Whether any photographer can fully adhere to the role of neutral bystander is open to debate. Yet the images that Furuya records, the ones that capture his attention and motivate him to pop the shutter, limn the peripatetic life of an artist who is as attracted to the jarring as to the beautiful, to the desolate as to the sensual. The photographs leap among emotional octaves, a dizzying range intensified by Furuya's eye for dramatic composition. In fact, it appears that the decision to float freely among colors, styles and subjects may be the one constant element in Furuya's take on life.
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