Masashi Mihotani


For me, a histogram is a tool to reference tonal value during the photo editing process. Although we receive a variety of different impressions from a single photograph, a histogram simply shows us the tonal values of that image.

There was a moment when I was looking over the negatives I had taken and was drawn to a single image. I recognized where it was taken, and I even remember being there, but I couldn’t recall releasing the shutter. This experience provoked an interest in my own unconsciousness and led me to compile this series of photographs taken under similar circumstances.

I’ve made monochrome versions of this series of photographs, and overprinted them onto a single sheet. I consider the result to be something akin to a topographical, overhead view of the standard horizontal ridgeline of the histogram.

Given the fact that a person’s sense of sight is like an optical lens, this straightforward accumulation of tonal variation can be thought of as a scene existing in a pre-linguistic state. It may be something like an abstraction of visual memory, one which cannot be recalled through language or physical gestures. This image is an inextricable presence within the other photographs in this series.