廣瀬就久 (岡山県立美術館学芸員)

The subjects of SHITAMICHI Motoyuki's photographs are unusual landscapes that he discovers during his travels, and he is chiefly concerned with the memories of the past that they contain.
He photographs abandoned military structures and equipment, such as pillboxes and batteries, that have been left to deteriorate during the 60 years since World War Ⅱ. Although these images may cause people to think about the negative aspects of the war, the artist does not intend to make a histrical point. He is primarily interested in the strangeness and abruptness of the presence of wartime ruins in an ordinary landscape. He is also attracted to the strange formal qualities of these objects. By basing his work on this subject, he traces apart of the history of this country which is being forgotten.
In the [Pictures] series, included in this exhibition, he focuses on pictures painted by his late grandfather. After obtaining information from relatives and acquaintances, he looked up the current owner of paintings created by his grandfather, a Sunday Painter, and photographed them in their current environment. The paintings, executed by the hand of the same artist, appear in a number of different and unrelated spaces, showing an interesting incongruity. In addition, tracing the whereabouts of these paintings about his owners, he learned more about his grandfather's life, which he knew only vaguely.
Shitamichi lives overseas at present, and he finds the energy for making art in discoveries made on his travels. how will his work develop after the experience of this current project? I will de watching it with interest.

HIROSE Naruhisa
[Curator, The Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art ]