Akihiko Takami
Zeit Photo Salon
March 1999  

Photograms of seasonal flowers that would otherwise remain unnoticed and unknown.
Not many prints would be possible from those delicate flowers, since they are exposed to an abundance of light.
The tired eyes are refreshed by Sakata’s work. The eyes are invaded by so many polaroids and cheap
shots of pseudo-art, or by satellite photos and high definition VTR images.
rritation and tantalism of being shown what are supposed to be invisible, since they are titled art expression.

Sakata’s work is a lotion to our eyes tired of the endless nightmare, when it brings about those flowers
close to us, from the space between the visible and the invisible.




Geijutu Shincho September 2006
Gallery Ando

The flowers that appear from the dark background look like animals, or dying animals.
The works by Mineo Sakata(born in 1966)are somewhat different from photograms.  In photograms, the images represent actual size of the objects on photographic papers, but in his works the images are often larger than the objects.  “They are like microscopic photography” says Sakata, but they
are not such faithful reproduction of the objects, because whereas the veins are so precisely and vividly fixed on the paper, the petals are blurred like ghosts.  By the work of light, the inside becomes outside, and the life becomes the death. Delicate white dots on the black background were pollen blown by the wind of the darkness.




Mineo Sakata and Kenshi Yamakura “Halo of Moebius” and “Play of Ray Flux”
by Kazuhiro Yamamoto
Gallery KAKU exhibition 2006

Sakata’s work is what is otherwise called photohgram, but when I look into its detail, I feel that my knowledge about the photo- negative and the photo- positive is blurred.

In his work, the flowers are photo negatives and at the same time photo-positives. According to him this was only possible by a special instrument he created by himself, which reminds me of such a historic character as Kircher who created in the 17th century a unique instrument to capture the image of the world. After him, the image of the world has been captured by modern technology and has lost its brilliance, but in Sakata’s work it is remaining with the same level of vividness. On the same plane a photo-negative and a photo-positive exist together. Furthermore there is a delicate gradation! We are forced to see here the status where the light and the darkness coexist, apart form the dichotomy. We see there the face and the back, the past and the present of the light.

Such an attempt as representing the light like the ring of Moebius is more typified by the recent work using a paper money. This is not a work of montage. The fixed image was later made partially transparent so that both sides could been seen from one side only.

A photogram can still be a photogram even if there is distance between the object and the photographic paper. Sakata seems trying to explore a mystic region where an image is born, departing from traditional photograms. It is not a dry analysis, but a lyrical and soft approach. Here at his point Sakata is different from Kircher or other pioneers who tried to fix the image of the world. To fix the image of the world in vivo and fresh is his art. This attitude is represented also in the window open in his work of paper money.


edited for translation




Tomohiro NIsihimura
Gallery MAKIE

Mineo Sakata is a classic photographer. He conserves his style that is independent from the current trend. So he is hard- to- find species at this time. He is classic in three different ways His theme is classic because it is the flower. This is point one. So many photographers have chosen the flowers as their objects. It seems that every trial has been done. So it is extremely difficult to do something new with the flower, because it must stand against such huge bulk of tradition and prove its originality. Sakata dares to do that. The point two is his persistence on the high quality of the print. His composition of the tableau is very artistic and finish of the print is marvelous. He has graduated from The Tokyo University of Arts, Faculty of Oil Painting, and it seems that his photographic work is an extension of painting. He was not painting very much in his school days and was primarily doing installation works. He was not satisfied with the trend of the contemporary art towards conceptualism. He then started to be inclined towards photography. He says taking pictures reminds him of the excitement when he started oil painting.  The third point relates to the method he employs for taking pictures. He uses photogram, which is a classical method. Photogram has a long history behind it. Already in the 19th century Fox-Talbot made a photogram ofa lace net on a photographic paper. In 1920’s Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy Laszlo frequently used this technique to create their works. In Japan, photogram was popular since before the war and there were such artists as Iwata Nakayama and Eikyu. After the war this technique has become almost obsolete and there are not many artists that use this method.

Sakata’s photogram is slightly different from the traditional photogram. The image in photogram is usually reversed, so that objects put on the photographic paper turn into white images because they are opaque against light and thus make shadows. The details of the objects are lost in this instance. In Sakata’s works, the details are remaining. He calls this “the photogram by transmitted light” He makes some part of the light goes through thin organs of the flower and thus makes it possible that some details of the flower be recorded. This is a new technique created by Sakata.

Eikyu was a painter, too, and he called his method “photo-drawing” As symbolized by this term, photogram has a close relation with painting. Photogram reduced three dimensional objects into two dimensional images, which are unreal and can exist on on a paper. For Man Ray and Moholy- Nagy Laszlo it was a new experiment to create a new experience for spectators by creating unreal images. Then what is Sakata’s new photogram? It lies in between the three dimensions and two dimensions. It is more flat than ordinary photography but is not as flat as traditional photogram. He makes his flowers swim with charm in this semi-three dimensions.














坂田峰夫と山倉研志 -〈メビウスの光輪〉と〈光線束の綾取り〉
Gallery KAKU













Gallery MAKI














・Find the flower(1994-)



・video & Performance(2009-)

・about Mineo Sakata