FT: Yoshihiko UEDAFrancis Hodgson, Financial Times April 13, 2010
The Michael Hoppen Gallery continues its fruitful determination to bring the best Japanese photography to London with an eerie show by distinguished photographer Yoshihiko Ueda, his first in Europe. Ueda visited Quinault (a rainforest in Washington state) and photographed the bases of trees with tungsten film – a rather arcane product rarely used outside the studio – deliberately not correcting the images for daylight.
Ueda’s book of the Quinault series is a prized collectors’ item, and these large, beautifully handmade prints are no disappointment. His tungsten gives him a blue light on foliage that reminds me of nothing so much as the lovely way green dyes in old tapestries fade to blue, giving a distinctive haunted-woodland colour. In Ueda’s woods, light filters down through trees almost as a solid element of the forest, equal to the sturdy boles or squidgy mosses. The visual effect is as of musical notation, with rhythmic patterns of trees interrupted by strong gaps of light. The psychological effect is to give the light its due as maker of the woods. Without sunlight, these solid stools of trees would not exist.