There is a yellow Kodak box on the shelf in the darkroom.
Inside, it contains photographs of Madonna.
They have lain there for thirty-five years without seeing the light of day.
However, in February of this year, they were published in London as a photobook under “Adore.”
It felt like a miracle.
Madonna. January 1985. Tokyo.
Madonna made her first visit to Japan to promote the Like a Virgin album.
Playboy Weekly (Shueisha Inc.) gave me only forty-five minutes for shooting her pictures.
The sliding paper doors in a traditional Japanese room are called fusuma. I photographed these then superimposed them with photographs of “flowers, birds or landscapes” that I had taken during my travels.
Two worlds fuse, a chemical change occurs, the pictures coming together with the architectural space to create panoramic works.
I call this form of artistic expression “Fusuma Photography.”
Wakasugi’s works are forever evolving and it is difficult to tell whether they are photographs or illusions. They present scenes that do not exist in reality but evoke nostalgia or depict a universe we would all like to see. In his most outstanding work, he used photographs of nature that he had taken in remote regions of the world to decorate the sliding paper doors of a traditional, four-hundred-year-old Japanese building, thereby combining mutually exclusive elements—interior and exterior, light and dark, stillness and motion, film and digital, past and present.
In this, his second New York exhibition, he will show photographs of Madonna that he took for a magazine when she first visited Japan in 1985. Madonna’s well-toned body, her face, her coquettish vitality— thirty six years have passed since she released her hit song, “Material Girl,” the sound and rhythm of which embodies materialism. I wonder what the challenging gaze of this eighties icon has to say to us today.
In the same way that Wakasugi’s recent work in mixed media surpasses the barriers of time and space, it leads to fusion and explosion, before finally giving birth to a transformation. The subsequent reaction that occurs between these most beautiful things will doubtless reveal an unknown world.
Special thanks to:
Douglas Dubler 3
Madonna “Synthesis” exhibition printing ,
digital asset management, gallery lighting director,
image curation of Madonna show
Creative Director, NJG Studio Ltd
Publisher of “ ADORE “ Vol.1 and Vol. 2
All images in Madonna show are printed on Canson Prestige Baryta paper