About Toshio Shibata

Shibata begins his career as a painter, majoring in oil painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1975 he left Japan to pursue his studies at the Royal Academy in Ghent, Belgium, focusing on both painting and print-making. It was during his time in Europe that Shibata’s interest in photography began to develop. On his return to Japan he began to search for his photographic subject. At first he turned his large-format camera towards gas stations by night but gradually he moved towards the Japanese landscape. In 1983 Shibata began the series The Quintessence of Japan, photographing landscapes from around the country where man-made structures collide with nature.

In 1992 he received the Kimura Ihee Award and in 1995 he was commissioned by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to photograph the USA, a project which led to his Grand Coulée Dam photographs. In recent years Shibata has moved his landscape photographs into the realm of colour and in 2008 a book of his colour work, Landscape 2, was published by Nazraeli Press. In 2009 a retrospective exhibition of Shibata's work, Landscape, was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

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Toshio Shibata's Projects on LensCulture
Toshio Shibata's Books