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ENDO Susumu - 遠藤 享 (b. 1933)


Walking into Endo Susumu’s house in the fashionable Jingumae district in Tokyo, one has the sense of visiting a friend in Scandinavia instead.  Blond wood furniture is draped with colorful, geometric-patterned woolen throws and a profusion of plants brings nature into this urban residence.  Endo has a long connection to that part of the world -- he has family in Finland, and he and his wife have made many trips there.

In fact, the physical geography of Finland and its shared aesthetics with Japan have inspired many of his photo- lithographs. Endo has written several books in Japanese about his technical process: taking photographs, downloading the images onto a computer where he manipulates the colors of the image, transferring the image to lithographic film and then printing these as lithographs.

Trained originally as a graphic designer, Endo started making lithographs in 1979. His early works depicted everyday objects like pencils, light bulbs, eggs, and bottles.  In the mid 90s, a major change occurred in Endo’s choice of subject matter when nature became the element he most wanted to explore in his prints.  He never divulges the exact location of his photographs, simply remarking with a mischievous smile that they are taken in Japan or Finland.

He says that his work is all about constructing a world where the real and unreal coexist and interact. Endo says that he thinks in a non-digital, analog way, but is always eager to take advantage of the latest technology for his creations.

Last year, at a party in Tokyo at my father's, we talked about the quality of light in his work. Endo says he tries to use light as a way to layer different timelines. I look at his work and feel that I am peering into a dream world, and the artist is totally fine with that, adding “most of my work since the 1990s is from the Space and Nature series, so light is important as a way to illuminate what you are seeing in space and nature.”

Read more about Endo-san, here.


The British Museum, London

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA

Museum of Krakow, Poland

National Museum of Warsaw, Poland

National Museum of Silesia, Poland

Sao Paolo Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil

Ibiza Contemporary Art Museum, Spain

Skopje Contemporary Art Museum, Yugoslavia

Gallery of Contemporary Art in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

Bharat Bhavan Roopankar Art Museum, India

Ukraina Independent Center of Contemporary Art, Ukraine

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Museum of Contemporary Graphic Art, Norway

National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan

Gunma Prefectural Modern Art Museum, Japan

Wakayama Prefectural Modern Art Museum, Japan

Tochigi Prefectural Art Museum, Japan

Hokkaido Prefectural Art Museum, Japan

Shibuya Shoto Art Museum, Japan

Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan

In 1999 he received the Purple Ribbon Award from the Government of Japan for artistic excellence.

photograph of contemporary Japanese print dealer Allison Tolman of The Tolman Collection of New York with artist ENDO Susumu and his wife
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