Ialready knew of Ando’s architecture and took the opportunity while I was in the country to call the architect’s office and arrange a visit. Thus began an investigation of the work that has enabled me to advance my ideas about the photographic representation of architecture.
On that first occasion I photographed some seminal
buildings. These included the Noguchi House, the
Koshino House and some projects that had recently
been completed. In the course of this first sojourn
in Osaka I began to formulate the approach that
has guided me in succeeding years, in an effort to
comprehend the architectural endeavour.
As there was only a finite amount of time available on
each journey I worked in all weather conditions. This
led to an awareness of the subtle effect that illumination
has on Ando’s architecture. Each structure became a
succession of spaces in which the mass was dissolved in
light, creating a heightened sense of the enclosed space.
There was a remarkable afternoon of contemplation
of light at the Water Temple on Awaji Island, where
squalls of rain succeeded each other at the beginning
of the rainy season. As the interior space of the temple
is only dimly illuminated, it was necessary to leave
the large camera exposing for long periods and there
was plenty of time to observe the ephemeral effects of
the light. Ascending from the hall of the temple to the
exterior, I would find myself in a world that seemed
different from the one I had visited only half an hour
before. In recording what I saw again, I recognised a
myriad of subtle variations of colour and light. Each
time I emerged, I tried to see more clearly what had
altered in the qualities of space and light.
Photography of architecture is an interpretation and a
representation of the intrinsic elements of architecture:
space, form, light and colour. The way light is directed
is essential to the conception of space in architecture.
Form, light and colour are inseparable and are
simultaneous in space.
Water Temple, Awaji Island,
Hyogo, Japan, 1991. ‘There
was a remarkable afternoon
of contemplation of light
at the Water Temple’
‘In recording what I saw again,
I recognised a myriad of subtle
variations of colour and light’