At first sight, Norbert Schoerner’ photographs seem like studies of individual pine trees standing out against a barren, mountainous landscape of undulating peaks and dark cloud formations. However, closer inspection reveals something unusual. Instead of being rooted in the ground, the trunks of the pine trees end in receptacles reminiscent of the ceramic bowls typically used for growing bonsai trees.
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The apparent logic of the image—ccording to which the foreground and background depict a connected space, a consistent reality—s fractured.
The bonsais in Norbert Schoerner’ photographs were cultivated by the Abe family who live in the Azuma Mountains near Fukushima. For three generations, these masters—urakichi, his son Kenichi, and his grandson Daiki—ave been growing bonsais from seeds. They use seeds from trees only to be found in the shadow of the volcanic Mount Azuma-
By photographing the bonsais in constructed dioramic surroundings, the artist seems to be returning the plants to their origins so that they can reach their true growth potential.
This visual event combines different chronologies: The topographic formation of Mount Azuma-
Norbert Schoerner (b. 1966) is a German photographer and filmmaker who has been living in London, his city of choice, since 1989. His professional career started with commissions for the magazine The Face in the late 1980s. Besides editorials for major publications such as Vogue, NY Times, and iD, he started to photograph campaigns for brands such as Yoji Yamamoto, Prada, Shiseido, and Comme des Garçons. Since his first trip to Japan in 1992, Norbert Schoerner has been travelling there on a regular basis, sometimes for several months at a time.
Curator: Matthias Wagner K
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2022. All Rights Reserved
Exhibition 14 May -
© Norbert Schoerner