In the early 1980s, returning to Japan from a few years of traveling and living in Europe, Toshio Shibata began photographing night scenes of roadside Japan. Shibata has said of the experience of the road at night: �While driving on a highway at night in Europe I often experienced an imperceptible momentary sensation of transcending place, yet not knowing where I was. It seemed as if I could have been in Japan, or even in the United States. I felt that the scene was non-specific, but rather a kind of generic or archetypal common scene, universal image and part of a global world-view.�
Gas stations � especially in the dead of night � look more or less the same everywhere they are to be found. Yet their generic look can also provoke feelings of melancholy, even romance.
Well known for his large-scale photographs of large-scale civil engineering in rural places, both in Japan and in the West, Toshio Shibata here presents the view with a book of seven jewel-like images of Japanese gas stations at night, beautifully reproduced and accompanied by a silver gelatin photograph, hand printed by the artist himself.
�Toshio Shibata occupies a distinct place in landscape photography: His pictures don't idealize pristine wilderness nor do they moralize about the damaging imprint humans leave upon the natural world. Shibata studies places of contact � where we have altered the earth � and finds reflection, wonder, awe.
Beauty, in his work, is inclusive, and purity is a matter of compositional elegance rather than rarefied subject matter.� � Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times
Gas Stations: 1982 & 1986 is limited to 500 numbered copies, each including a 5x7 inch original print that has been signed by the artist.
Hardcover, 6 x 8 1/2, 16 pages,
7 duotone plates, 1 original signed photograph.