Shikama, Takeshi

Takeshi Shikama, Tokyo, Japan

Born:1948 in Tokyo, Japan.
Education: Aoyamagakuin University, 1968-1970.
In 2002 Takeshi Shikama turned to photography after a career in the field of design. He was drawn to forests as the subject for his large format camera. It was the “invisible world”, hidden behind the “visible” that he worked to capture. His first photo collection was published in 2007 as Mori no Hida—Silent Respiration of Forests. This project became the launch of a lifetime endeavor. In 2008, he created a new series, Utsuroi-Evanescence, consisting of four parts: Forest, Field, Lotus, and Garden. In 2009, he added the fifth part, Landscape. The following year, in 2010, while working on the Evanescenc seriese, he started working with Japanese hand made Gampi paper for his platinum Palladium printing. The detail involved to create these prints; each requiring hand-coating the emulsion on the paper and contact printing the negative; reflects the intimacy and interaction that he feels towards his subject matter. In 2009, He was invited to take part of FOTO and his solo show was held in Johannes Larsen Museet (Kerteminde, Denmark). He was also one of nine artists selected for the FotoFest International Discoveries II (Houston, Texas). In 2011, he began new work photographing in two distinct American landscapes--Yosemite National Park and New York City’s Central Park. Also for the new body of work features landscapes throughout the Pacific Northwest and Hokkaido, Japan. In 2012, He was invited to take part of the Noorderlicht Photofestival (The Netherlands). He added new series “The Netherlands” and of “ Urban Forests”-- Jardin du Luxambourg (Paris, France) and Central Park vol.2. In 2013, received the first Jon Schueler Schlarship Award. Artist in residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language, Culture and the Arts (Isle of Skye, Scotland). He was included as one of three artists for “ Thoughts of the Forests”, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Yamanashi, Japan. He had set about new projects on “Ancient Stone” and landscapes throughout Scotland and Galicia in Spain.


The forest always stands there, motionless, in total stillness.

This is the image I have always had of the forest.

Yet, while continuing to make my way through the folds of trees deep inside the forest, it has dawned upon me that the forest is, in fact, the home of ever so many silent and hushed activities. The repeated cycle of the myriads of organisms cradled in the bosom of Mother Nature, all destined to be born, eventually to fade into evanescence...

I must have unknowingly felt this all along, and this probably explains why I have always been fascinated by the forest.

And now, I find myself more and more intrigued by the scenes of fleeting moments of all living things such as plants and flowers about to wither, and streams of flowing water, or the shadows cast by trees that I happen to find beneath my feet.

Filled with the desire to closely observe each and every living thing or scene co-existing with the forest amidst the vast flow of time, I leave myself to be wrapped in the gentle oscillation of nature, waiting for the perfect moment that will captivate the eyes of my camera lens.