Following the death of master photographer Issei Suda on March 7 this year, Zen Foto Gallery’s Mark Pearson wrote a personal text recounting the relationship between Zen Foto, who published five books with Issei Suda’s photographs—including the recent “Mechanical Retina on my Fingertip” as well as “Osorezan” and “Waga Tokyo 100”—between 2013 and 2018, the personal impact Suda’s work had had on himself, and Suda’s unique strength as a photographer.
“What is it that is so satisfying about a Suda photograph? Perhaps it is something of their simplicity. Suda is able to reduce the image to its essentials. In the case of a person, Suda somehow shows us the purest quality of a man, a woman, a child. It can be an animal, and we feel that he has shown us the truth about that goat, cat or snake. It might be an inanimate object such as a bush rising above a fence or a set of knives shining in a window, perfectly and simply framed, with nothing to distract us from the mysterious essence that Suda has chosen to reveal. As I look through the books that we have produced, and indeed any of his books, I feel that there is nothing in the image that is unnecessary or superfluous.”
“Issei Suda has been with me on my journey as a collector, as a gallerist, as a publisher and even as a would-be photographer, being inspired by him for many years now. His work was my first significant acquisition as a collector and indeed my latest significant acquisition even this year of 2019. I have been privileged to publish five books of his work, so far, and hope to bring more of his marvellous works to the wider world. I was fortunate to know him. I pray for him as he continues his journey in another world.”