Size: 9 1/4 x 11 7/8 in. (240 x 300 mm).
Item#: SD-148 Artist: Noboru Ishikawa
Image or title: dilapidated steel hut atop a dune.
Date: 1930s. Medium: vintage gelatin silver print Price: ¥100,000 JPY

Description: well composed view of a dilapidated steel hut atop a dune, printed on a lustre paper as are most images by this artist. This print is both signed and titled by the artist and reads "Sakyu, Ishikawa Noburu", translation: Dune by Ishikawa Noburu (see detail below).

Provenance: this print comes from a small collection of Ishikawa prints discovered in Tokyo during the 1990s which originated from an antique dealer. Most of the prints in this collection were either inscribed or titled in the artist's hand and all were printed on the same type of photo paper.

Condition: this print is in good condition overall, but there is a slight amount of discoloration in the sky area. The corners also have very minor bumping marks (which can clearly be seen above).

Noboru Ishikawa (born: 1881, died: unknown?):

Ishikawa was a talented art photographer born into a wealthy family in the Western Japanese city of Fukuoka. It is not known how he got his start in photography, but since the only known examples of his work are from the 1930s, his passion for photography is thought to be rooted in the 1920s. This was at a time when Japanese camera clubs and photo circles were thriving across Japan, in addition to many photo journals being published that promoted picture taking as a leisurely pastime. For Ishikawa he pursued photography in just this way, as an avocation rather than a profession. This was the case with most Japanese art photographers of that era.

By profession, Ishikawa was an industrialist who took photographs during interludes away from his career as a director of mining operations. In 1908 he graduated from the prestigious Tokyo Daigaku (Tokyo University) where he earned a degree in mining. Upon graduation he was employed at Kagoshima Yamagano Kinzan, a gold mine located in Western Japan. As a result of this tenure, Ishikawa’s stature quickly grew and he was next employed by Meiji Kyogyo in annexed Korea where he held the title of Director. After this posting Ishikawa held a series of prominent titles including; Director of Kinugawa Kyogyo in Tokyo's neighboring prefecture of Tochigi, and Director of Hoshino Kyogyo. It is not known when Ishikawa retired but by the start of World War II he was in his early sixties and close to retirement age. His date of death is also unknown but he is thought to have lived out his remaining years in Tokyo as in 1938 he is known to have resided in Tokyo's Suginami ward.

Ishikawa's photographs are mostly in the modernist style and document the environs he lived in. This includes artistically composed urban and rural views as well as candid images of daily life.

Reverse of print.

Detail of verso title and artist's signature (Dune by Ishikawa Noboru).