by Bianca Bosker from New York Times article, April 3, 2017
WITHOUT WARNING, the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto begins to sing. Moments before, he had been guiding me through his minimalist penthouse loft in a verdant neighborhood of Tokyo, explaining in a voice barely louder than a whisper why white Japanese shikkui plaster is the most beautiful surface on which to view shadows. Then, in a soaring tenor, he starts belting out Handel’s “Lascia ch’io pianga,” his strong voice echoing off the bare walls.
Spend any time with Sugimoto, and such scenes will grow familiar: It is all but impossible to know what he will do next. Sugimoto built his name on photography; his meditative, black-and-white images of everything from drive-in movie theaters and eerily naturalistic wax figures to Rothko-esque seascapes are well represented in museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern and the J.Paul Getty Museum. Now, a full four decades into his career, there is architecture. At 69 years old, the artist is quietly making an ambitious transition, expanding his two-dimensional vision to one that captures the world in space.