Sohei Nishino - Photographs London Thursday, May 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Making-of video for Nishino’s Diorama Map London, 2010

    'I love the energy of cities, the diversity, the density.'
    —Sohei Nishino 

    Japanese artist Sohei Nishino’s ongoing monumental series Diorama Maps brings his experience of walking the city to life. To create the urban tableau of London, offered here, Nishino spent one month walking around and photographing the city from a variety of vantage points. By the end of his visit, he had taken over 10,000 photographs and used over 300 rolls of black-and-white 35mm film. The next three months were spent back in his Tokyo studio, printing the contact sheets in his darkroom, selecting some 4,000 images, cutting out the individual frames, and then affixing them onto a large board. Once the collage was complete, he re-photographed it to produce the final large-scale work.


    From a distance, this meticulous aerial map appears abstract, inviting us to look closer to see such landmarks as the Thames, the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace or the Gherkin. ‘I just let myself rely on the experience of walking,’ Nishino explains, ‘It’s the accidental, coincidental elements that make it interesting. Then once I’m home I continue the journey of discovery in the darkroom.’ The Tokyo-based artist was the subject of a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2016-17 and his work resides in such prestigious collections as Saatchi Gallery, London; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; and Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.

    • Provenance

      Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

    • Literature

      London: Portrait of a City, Cologne: Taschen, 2012, pp. 508-509



Diorama Map London

Lightjet print, mounted.
Image/Sheet: 129.5 x 231.1 cm (50 7/8 x 91 in.)
Frame: 139.7 x 241.3 cm (54 7/8 x 95 in.)

Signed in Japanese by the artist, titled, dated and numbered 2/5 by his studio in ink on a Certificate of Authenticity accompanying the work.

This work is number 2 from the sold-out edition of 5 + 2 APs. This image is sold out in all sizes and editions.

Full Cataloguing

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £60,480

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Rachel Peart
Head of Department, London

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

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London Auction 20 May 2021