By Rhiannon Leigh
Boston, Mass. – Staying warm this winter by stopping by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to see their newly acquired Frida Kahlo piece? Don’t forget to continue to the photography gallery to see an exhibition featuring works by Manhattan-based photographer Hiro.
Born to Japanese parents in 1930 in Shanghai, Hiro spent the beginning of his life in China until eventually relocating to Japan at the end of World War II. Hiro had begun looking at American fashion magazines and noticed photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, becoming inspired by their work and completely enveloped in photography.
After moving to New York in 1956 and working under Avedon, it was clear that he had a natural talent for the art. Hiro used this niche as a way to express what he had seen growing up in a war-torn area, bringing “his fear, his isolation, his splendid light, to film” as Avedon wrote about Hiro’s work in 1965.
While working with a range of subjects, including fashion, portraiture and still life, Hiro incorporates dramatic, colorful images with contrasting deep black and white images in this exhibition. With over 20 works in the exhibition, Hiro incorporates surrealism in much of his work, particularly in his piece, “Foot Series #8 with Ant,” and has never been afraid to push boundaries with technology and art, as shown in his portrait “Kelly Stewart, 1994,” featuring overlapped images of landscape and model, a truly innovative experiment for when the piece was finished.
Hiro was no stranger to experimentation pre-Photoshop era, however. With the use of three models and three different swatches of fabric, Hiro was able to create the work “Three Figures in Silk, New York 1967,” without the use of digital manipulation and simply his own imagination and craftsmanship.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston exhibition is Hiro’s first solo show in a museum of this magnitude in the United States. Displaying his attention to detail and his creative edge in photography, this is not to be missed.
(“Hiro: Photographs” continues through August 14 at The Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. The museum is open Saturday through Tuesday from 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-9:45 p.m. For more information, call (617) 267-9300.)