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Jun Sato : Paper Works


The Japanese photographer Jun SATO is the typical creator of one of the most elaborate forms of art photography. His creations lead to the realisation of both ethereal and intricate works whose author masters, for each of them, the result from the origin of his approach from the smallest detail to the materialisation of the work.

Jun SATO was born at the end of the war in Tokyo, where he studied psychology at the university. He worked for Sony before coming in France to study cinematography and visual anthropology at the University of Paris. He obtained his doctorate in cinematography and dramaturgy under the direction of Jean Rouch, former director of the Cinémathèque Française.

Logically he worked on moving images; but, soon his interests turned to individual images. Indeed, he was attracted by the Greek origin of the word: “photography”, which means – write / draw with light -, rather than by the Japanese word: “shashin”, and its meaning – fix the truth.  Jun SATO produces images rather than shoots images.

With this approach, his first works, including the series “Petrification” composition of dark images captured using cameras lit with wrinkled aluminium foil or the series “Study of a Second” with speed shutters at a fixed second and with subjects and cameras free to move. His imaginative evolution leads him to concretise “Fringes of Interference” whose renderings freeze virtual patterns of colours shaped by light.

Today, he shows us “Paper Works” which expresses the effects of light subtlety when shooting geometric models designed in “origami” (folded papers) and in “kirigami” (cut papers). He has been working methodically for the last four years with and around paper following the discovery of his work and the exhibition of one of his geometric photography works by the curator of a geometric art exhibition. It is this starting point that drove, very seriously, Jun SATO to geometric photography. The series started with flat paper drawing straight lines, geometric origami models followed, lighting effects, foldings, then kirigami paper cutting attempts. His work on light evolved in parallel with the creating of obstacles between the emissions of the lights and the receptions on the objects.

Despite yourself, and without realising it, the onlooker is inside the picture, it’s subtle, it’s intangible, it’s geometric and yet totally irrational, these are the historical and psychological foundations of Japanese Arts that reappear before us.

Regarding his photographic mastery, at beginning he used film photography, but now it is digital photography. Before the silver halide photography faded, he learned its intricacies and laboratory secrets from a master of the print, Philippe Salaün.

Jun SATO the multifaceted artist also organises collective digital art exhibitions. For his pleasure, he takes “live” photos of jazz musicians passing through Paris, he fix some photographs about Romanesque art in France. He is an active member of the committee for the photography department of the French abstract art organisation “Réalités Nouvelles”. He regularly writes articles on Contemporary Art, particularly on photography, for Japanese magazines.

His works is kept in several public and private collections, particularly in Japan, the USA, France and Italy.



Jun SATO Photo Exhibition


from March 2020, 24 to April 2020, 05 (open every days)

open hours from 11h00 am  to 06h30 pm

free entrance



Gallery Japanese 1F « Tsuki »

374-2 Horiike-cho Higashiyama-ku



Tel : + 81 80 5988 7720

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