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Shoji Ueda

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Shomei Tomatsu

Surrealist images with a hint of realism – these are the types of pictures that have made Shoji Ueda famous. Most of his masterpieces were lifted from 350 kilometers of land spanning from Igumi to Hagi in Japan.
Born 1913, Ueda first got involved when he received a camera as a gift from his father in 1930. At 17 years old, he became passionate with photography. He was so talented that in December that year, his amateur image – Child on the Beach – was published in Camera magazine.
Ueda the family man showed on his portraits, for his wife and three children were the constant subjects of his works. He did not want to become a military photographer so he stopped his passion during the war.
After World War II he resumed with his hobby. He spent most of his time capturing the sand dunes of Tottori together with another famed photographer, Ken Domon. Most of Ueda’s works were monochromatic and square, but despite the simplicity they were praised in the photography community. The Tottori dunes have appeared in numerous magazines, such as the Camera magazine edited by another famous shutterbug, Kineo Kuwabara.
In 1995, the Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography was opened in Tottori – the place where he spent most of his life.
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