1991, (Out of print) Kyoto Shoin International, (絶版) 京都書院

Editorial Director : Kyoichi Tsuzuki, Design : Kaoru Kasai

Surely no one directly involved with creative photography in the 1980s emerged unaffected by Robert Mapplethorpe, so significant was the impact of his work. For Ueda, this was a conflicted time, caught in between a dedicated focus on the man's art and the struggle to find his own expression. The portraits and still life images of 1985 to 1990 are brought together in this volume published in 1991, a miscellany that bears the strong stamp of Mapplethorpe while hinting at the photographer's own nascent expression.

Mapplethorpe's influence A long goodbye

“Mapplethorpe is a photographer who greatly influenced me. His death came as a big shock to me. A year after his death, maybe two or three years after I took his portrait, I had been feeling depressed and had grave doubts that his death cut short such an amazing force in photography, when it suddenly occurred to me, why couldn't I continue in his photographic line? I was young and hot-blooded, still in my late twenties. I found myself thinking I should take photos with the express idea of continuing in his footsteps. It didn't take too long before I saw the error of my ways, but for the better part of a year I seriously committed myself to the effort. In some sense I was paying homage, but it was nowhere I needed to go. Mapplethorpe was a world unto himself. I made a clean break and went on to do Amagatsu and Quinault—the forest images of the latter especially were a complete remove from Mapplethorpe's photographs.”

from the "Photographer Interview" section of the FujiFilm homepage (used with permission)

1980年代に写真表現に真摯に関わったものにとって、ロバート・メイプルソープを避けて通れた者はいないのではないか。それほどメイプルソープの写真は意義深いものだった。上田はその表現の芯を見据え、自分の表現との格闘を模索した一時期を持った。そんな時代の中で1985年から90年にかけて撮影したポートレート、静物写真などをまとめた写真集、『INTO THE SILENT LAND』を1991年に出版した。この中には、メイプルソープに強い影響を受けながらも自身の写真の始まりを予感させる写真群が収められている。




FUJIFILM Home Page Fotonoma 「 The Photographer Interview 幸福な写真に向かって」より掲載した。