Noriko Furunishi’s monumental landscape photographs inaugurate New Pictures, a semiannual series dedicated to innovative work by emerging artists from around the world. Presented each fall and spring, the series highlights the vital experimentations in photography and new media undertaken by artists who grapple with making images that address today’s culture.
Furunishi, who was born in Kobe, Japan, and lives in Los Angeles, uses a large-format 4 x 5 camera to make several film images of geographical sites in the United States. Each image represents a different point of view, typically including one with a span from the tip of the artists toes into the foreground and landscape. After selecting four to six images, Furunishi scans the negatives onto a computer and then digitally stitches them together with Adobe Photoshop to create seemingly continuous landscapes. A close look reveals that some images have been flipped upside down or rearranged within the composition. The vertical orientation of Furunishi’s photographs recalls the complex formal compositions of historical Chinese and Japanese hanging scroll paintings, providing a contemporary perspective on the MIA’s renowned Asian collection.
Furunishi’s photographs suggest the new visual conditions and technological possibilities of our own time through their subtly warped vistas, which upend preconceptions about the land beneath our feet and the skies overhead.