(Tokyo, Japan, 1955)
The history of photography is the history of the white man travelling around the world with a camera hanging from his neck. The West has always described the rest. Bruno Latour champions a symmetrical anthropology that studies our society as classical anthropologists studied the so-called primitive societies. The others, the non-Westerners, should be able to write and explain the world.
Hiro Tanaka is a Japanese photographer who has been living in the United States for some years now. The photographs in his work ‘Chicharron’ are a collection of portraits, landscapes and still lifes that capture everyday life and his travels around the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. Highly humorous, they contain objects and fragments that combine the ordinary with unusual elements in a surreal atmosphere.
Tanaka’s images are rich in glossy textures and highly saturated colours. His is a style that produces a sensation of absurdity and even strangeness. The everyday is examined under the light of a pitiless flash, frontal lighting like a punch in the face.
His vision is characterised by surprising, incongruous juxtapositions that seek to create a constant sensation of bewilderment and displacement.
These photos focus on the banal, such as food – pork rind (chicharron), for instance –along with what is extraordinary in order to describe the sense of disorientation that a trip abroad can cause. Photographs full of chaos that suggest apparently random connections. Images separated in time and space that interpret the world through the photographer's subjective gaze.