Hiroshi Sugimoto's education was a cross-cultural blend of the East and West. The artist was sent to a Catholic school (Rikkyo Episcopal School). However, instead of receiving a Christian education, he was (in his own words) "baptized in Marxism and existentialism." Sugimoto then studied economics at a Catholic university, St. Paul's, in Tokyo. In 1970 the artist moved to the United States. He first studied photography at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and then moved to New York City (1974), where he opened a gallery of Japanese and East Asian Art (1979).
When the artist arrived in New York, "the fast-take, shoot-from-the-hip style of street photographers such as Robert Frank and William Klein" 1 was dominant. Sugimoto was not interested in this approach. He preferred linking "the photographer and the camera with the world beyond the lens," and felt much closer to "certain investigations by visual artists of the time, in particular minimalists such as Donald Judd and Dan Flavin and earthwork artists Robert Smithson and Walter de Maria. For them, art was not separate from the world but was one with it." 2
Sugimoto lives in New York and Tokyo.
1 Brougher, Kerry. Impossible Photography. . Hiroshi Sugimoto. Kerry Brougher and David Elliot. Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2005. 24.
2 Sugimoto, Hiroshi. The Times of My Youth: Images from Memory. Hiroshi Sugimoto. Kerry Brougher and David Elliot. Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2005.