Kochiro Kurita's Photographs at Ille Arts

     Those who visited the Parrish Art Museum's "Artists Choose Artists" show might remember Kochiro Kurita's photographs. The Southold resident was chosen by Ned Smyth and paired with Rick Liss. In that context Mr. Kurita's photographs were a fitting foil to Mr. Smyth's minimalist organic sculpture and photographs of it.

     On his own in Ille Arts, it is much the same, but also a much richer examination of the practice of this artist, who uses large format film to great advantage in his moody black-and-white portraits of nature. Portraits are what they seem to be for each scene has a mood or an emotion attached to it.

     After studying photography, Mr. Kurita was a commercial photographer in Japan. A reading of Henry David Thoreau's Walden, however, changed his perspective and his 20-year career. Since 1980. he has been working as a fine art photographer, first building a studio and dark room in the countryside in Japan and then coming to America to continue his quest.

     His photos have a meditative, reflective quality funneled through an unique visual sense. There is a mind at work behind the lens, attuned to beauty and transcendence. The works on view at Ille are platinum prints on a gampi vellum that is more durable and more texturally rich than rice paper. The overall effect of these prints both in subject matter and presentation is arresting and should be seen and appreciated, particularly now that Mr. Kurita may be decamping the East End for New England. The exhibition remains on view through Monday.