Flat Iron Building 1991
Platinum print on hand made gumpy paper. From an edition of 3
Born in Manchuria and educated in Japan, Koichiro Kurita made his commitment to photography early in life. First working in the 1960s for an advertising agency in Tokyo, he became an independent commercial photographer for diverse clients as Takashimaya, Sharp Electronics and Kanebo Cosmetics. At the age of 40, Kurita began to emerge as a fine art photographer. In 1990, a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, part of the John D Rockefeller Foundation, allowed him to concentrate on his artistic interests and within the year he held his first solo exhibition in the United States. In 1993 Kurita moved from Japan to live permanently in New York, and he traveled extensively, taking photographs throughout the US, Canada, the UK and later in France. Wherever he works, regardless of local terrain, Kurita's vision remains focused on the elements of nature. He is not so much an environmental advocate, intent on capturing and preserving the beauty of nature, but rather he is more a philosopher of life who finds solace in the contemplation of nature. "I believe that in nature, the smallest things, or seemingly most insignificant phenomena, have their reason and their role”. As Diogenes took his lantern, seeking an honest man, so Kurita uses his camera in his search for honest answers to life's enigmas.
"I had a fateful encounter with a book when I was a commercial photographer. It was Thoreau's Walden. I was moved by the absolute freedom of the spirit unconstrained by society's rules and the ability to enjoy harmony with nature. It was reminiscent of Zhangzi's philosophy and so close to the Oriental way of understanding nature. Deeply moved and inspired, I quite commerical photography and retreated to the mountains to start nature photography. The world of nature embraces terrasphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Each surface has a connecting border in mysterious ways. And in those expanses, all the things and pheomena including living things exist in time as independent entities. Though each entity is independent, they never exist alone nor in conflict yet rather in a state of order and harmony. Each connection contributes to a harmony of nature as a whole. My work is the expression of the mysterious connetion of these spheres and a record of the connection between myself and nature"
Kurita on his "Chi Sui Ki" (Terrasphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere) series