Author(s): Haru Sameshima
"Bold Centuries continues Sameshima's exploration of the concept that is New Zealand. The works flow from the natural environment to the urban environment and seem to be questioning not just how New Zealand has been represented in the past but how we are currently and how we will continue to be. Unsurprisingly there is an emphasis on the impact of foreign influence, historically from the British, but more recently from the US - photos of recent Central Otago developments could almost be Colorado or Montana. Years ago a local photographer told me that all photographers are collectors - of their own images if nothing else. Sameshima, it seems, is a collector of representations of this country, whether photographed by himself or found objects (other's photos, cigarette cards, postcards, etc.). The eight texts discuss specific elements of this collection without explicitly referring to Sameshima's work. Covering topics such as the archive, photographic practise, Manapouri, Rotorua and the representation of Maori, and shopping. By not obviously referencing the works in the book, this allows space for the reader to interpret as they choose, while giving a context in which to read, not just Bold Centuries, but Sameshima's work in general. This is an important book in the canon of New Zealand photographic books. Bold Centuries is not merely an artist survey book, nor just a collection of loosely related images; it is a curated exhibition placing the artist in context with his forebears and his contemporaries. A description Peter Ireland wrote about Robin Morrison can equally be applied to this work by Haruhiro Sameshima; his "work instance, intensifies, and expands our sense of place." Review by Andy Palmer eyecontact July 2009
Auckland-based Sameshima was born in Japan, and moved to New Zealand in 1973 while in his teens. He has been exploring 'New Zealand' for many years, looking at the "incongruous set of cultural mores called 'this country'." His 1996 work The Shopping mall as a place of contemplation was a series of television images and shopping mall brandings that examined our everyday reality. His more recent series Eco-Tourism, some of which appear in Bold Centuries, isn't an investigation of ecotourism in the usual sense, but a study of the tourist industry and its relationship with the environment." Review by Andy Palmer, eyecontact July 2009
Lost and Found / Kyla McFarlane -- Aesthetic Science -- The Reading Room -- Before Photography / Ingrid Horrocks -- Travelling Views -- Invigorated History / John Wilson -- Magic Lantern -- The Photographic Archive / Tim Corbalis -- Eco--tourism -- Hands Across the Sea -- Picturesque Manapouri / Aaron Lister -- Conservation and the Camera -- Mudpool Modernity / Damian Skinner -- Rotorua Tourist Brochures -- Twin Peaks -- Heaven Can Wait / Claudia Bell -- We're Shopping -- Dented Consciousness / Fiona Amundsen -- The failure of photography.