Onishi Gallery is pleased to host ‘O-Tsukimi’, a stunning exhibition that showcases the work of Japanese photographer Koshu Endo. Endo’s photographs focus exclusively on matters of the moon and the night sky. Those who view Endo’s work are often brought to tears while gazing upon his images. Endo’s photographs tap into a subconscious vulnerability stored deep within individuals by connecting to the primal self.
This rare exhibition highlights Otsukimi, an annual Japanese festival centered around the viewing of the autumn moon, and serendipitously celebrated during the period of this exhibition’s opening. Timed with this ancient lunar event, this show features eight large format photographs on the theme of the moon. In addition, Endo will create a gallery installation that allows visitors to experience the ‘O-tsukimi’ rituals and learn about the history of the festival. These include ritualistic food and drink offerings, and traditional expressions of admiration for the sacred deity that is the moon.
Koshu Endo was born in 1954 in Nagano Prefecture. He graduated from the Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Science and Engineering from Waseda University. Apart from photographing a variety of scenes including artwork, figure portraits, scenery, and celestial bodies, Endo also created integrated works of art such as design and copywriting. In 2015, he hosted large-scale photography gallery events at Takashimaya in Nihonbashi, Kyoto, Osaka, and Yokohama, attracting approximately 80,000 people.
Before his career as an artist, however, Endo hoped to be a scientist. A scientist experiments and observes the daily course of life. Those tasks are not limited to the fields of science, however, and are important when trying to ascertain the essence of things invisible to the human eye, unless you look very closely. Toward that end, Endo takes photographs, looking closely to capture the essence of what he sees. “When I take a picture, I say to myself: ‘If you really pay attention to the things around you, you will find the beauty of the universe.’ The universe shows its unlimited beauty to anyone, at anytime. It gives us stars at night, skies at dawn and dusk, shiny light from the sun on the water’s surface, and flowers and insects alive beside the road. I believe the universe contains everything and its essence is just beautiful.” (Quotation from “Gifts from The Universe”, 2007, Koshu Endo).
This is Koshu Endo’s first solo show in the United States, to be followed by another solo show at Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum in Hiroshima, Japan, from September 1st to November 5th, 2017. This exhibition is sponsored by Ganyuudou (Hamamatsu, Japan) in cooperation with Setsugekka Matcha Teahouse (New York, United States).