Norio Takasugi


'Perfectly Imperfect': Takasugi Norio (1973)


Takasugi Norio has moved from Japan to Berlin in 2004, where he has been working around the theme of mass and individuality. His work investigates similarities and differences between modernism and wabi-sabi. Both eschew any decoration that is not essential; both are abstract, nonrepresentational ideals of beauty. But modernism is seamless, polished and smooth. Wabi-sabi is earthy, imperfect and variegated. Modernism implies a logical, rational worldview and is future-oriented. Wabi-sabi implies an intuitive worldview and is present-oriented. Modernism involves mass-production, wabi-sabi is one-of-a-kind.


Takasugi’s subjects are always nature related and although the photographic negative of an image remains the same, its reproduction produces subtle differences, resulting in unique pieces of work. Takasugi merges ancient Japanese painting techniques using silver leaf and sulfur with the screen-printing technique to create his photographic expression. Because of the unpredictability of the chemical reactions between the silver and the sulphur, the outcome is different every time and never perfect. Because of this process Takasugi’s works have the patina of ageing that gives them a wabi-sabi feel.