Takeshi Shikama’s work is the result of a journey. From long walks in remote Japanese or American woodlands to urban forests such as Central Park in New York or the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, Takeshi Shikama has trained his lens to capture fleeting moments of living things: plants and flowers about to wither, flowing streams or shadows cast by trees.
Each photograph is hand-printed by Takeshi Shikama himself, using the ancient platinum/palladium technique, considered the highest quality in black and white photographic printing. The paper on which he prints is itself unusual. Declared a UNESCO national treasure in 2014, this fragile, almost transparent, non-acidic, traditional Japanese paper is made from natural fibres of the Gampi tree. With its velvet-like quality, the platinum/palladium print possesses a broader range of greys. It restores more detail than a gelatin silver print from the same negative, providing minutiae and depth to the image. The delicacy of Gampi paper gives each print a unique artisanal and precious quality. Its specific tonality softens the black platinum without diminishing the details of each subject.
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