Haruhiko Sameshima: Bold Centuries: A Photographic History Album

Haruhiko Sameshima: Bold Centuries: A Photographic History Album


Haruhiko Sameshima: Bold Centuries: A Photographic History Album. With essays by Kyla McFarlane, Ingrid Horrocks, John Wilson, Tim Corballis, Aaron Lister, Damian Skinner, Claudia Bell, and Fiona Amundsen. Published by Rim Books with support of PhotoForum, 2009.

Designated as PhotoForum #77/78.

ISBN 9780473144821
220x240 mm, 196pages, ills colour with duotone B&W, Softcover.

Bold Centuries is an artist’s book by Haruhiko Sameshima – artist/photographer based in Auckland. This collage-like book is made-up of his original photographs together with found historical images and texts, both commissioned and found in history books and the Internet. It serves as an engaging and poetic introduction to Sameshima’s long standing exploration of photography as myth – a skewed tour guide and time machine, taking the reader on a meander through the histories of photographic representation in this country alongside a sweeping and contemporary canvas of our relationships with human habitats and with the land in New Zealand.

“The works flow from the photographic ideas of natural environment to the urban environment and seem to be questioning not just how New Zealand has been represented in the past but how we are currently and how we will continue to be.
Sameshima, it seems, is a collector of representations of this country, whether photographed by himself or found objects (others’ photos, cigarette cards, postcards, etc.) . . . .

Bold Centuries is not merely an artist survey book, nor just a collection of loosely related images; it is a curated exhibition placing the artist in context with his forebears and his contemporaries. “
Andy Palmer – Eyecontact

“There are eight accompanying essays which operate in parallel to Sameshima’s images, without making direct reference to his practice. The connections to the works are oblique, seldom expository. Nevertheless, each essay is carefully crafted and has a comfortable home in this umbrella of a book. The essays each reinforce the mandate of the book as an astute historical album inflected by a contemporary vision and filtered through the lens of a century or more of photographic activity.”
Hanna Scott – Lumiére Reader

Bold Centuries. Primarily featuring the author’s original photographs made in New Zealand in style of a variety of well-known photographers. The book question the language of photography, rather than accepting it as simple affirming codes. 8 essays from authors of variety of disciplines investigate aspects of photography and its meanings/language/usage in New Zealand contexts. These elements are interspersed with collections of found images of New Zealand from a variety of timeframe, and found texts (printed with the original context of the images plus found on the internet) quoted in the captions, complicates the readings and expose the workings of imagery as language, sign, and its role in construction of ideas such as history, place and identity.

Reviewed by Hanna Scott for Lumiere Reader:


Reviewed by David Eggleton for Landfall Online


Reviewed by Andy Palmer for EyeContact:


Reviewed by Peter Ireland on S’Kite:


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To see some page layouts of  Bold Centuries  as a PDF, click on the image above

To see some page layouts of Bold Centuries as a PDF, click on the image above