From his black and white, long-exposure shots of cinema screens to his extreme polaroid close-ups of colour, Hiroshi Sugimoto's work is an incredible optical infusion. The Japanese artist recently launched his scarf collection for Hermès at Art Basel. Photography: Tadzio
Polaroid 107, one of 20 of Sugimoto's Polaroid works that were used for the limited-edition 'Hermès Editeur - Couleurs de l'Ombre' collection
Sugimoto's Polaroid 092 was another of the works used for the 'Hermès Editeur - Couleurs de l'Ombre' collection
Sugimoto is best known for his hand-printed black and white photographs, such as 'Fox Theatre, Detroit, Michigan', 1978, pictured here
Hermès and Sugimoto have embraced hi-tech digital printing as the best way to produce the subtle gradations in the 'Coleurs de l'Ombre' scarf collection. Photography: Tadzio
Hermès invented a new inkjet printing method, and an enormous new machine, to create the scarves. Printing here is Sugimoto's Polaroid 053, which also features on Wallpaper's limited-edition cover this month
'Celtic Sea, Boscastle', 1994, is part of Sugimoto's ongoing series of seascapes, which he started in 1980
Hermès' Pierre-Alexis Dumas with Hiroshi Sugimoto. Photography: Tadzio
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In our July W*160 issue we pay a visit to the Tokyo studio of Japanese granddaddy of art photography, Hiroshi Sugimoto. When we visited, Sugimoto was busy preparing for the presentation of his collaboration with Hermès at this year's Art Basel in the city's Museum der Kulturen.
For 10 years, Sugimoto has used a giant prism to create a remarkable chromatic display which he has captured on Polaroid (explained in far more detail in this month's issue of course). In 2010, Hermès' Pierre-Alexis Dumas visited Sugimito in his studio and decided that these Polaroids were the perfect base-matter for the third edition of its Hermès Editeur series of artist collaborations.
Hermès has created - using a new inkjet printing method - 20 different scarf designs in editions of just seven. Dumas, Sugimoto, and his prism were all in Basel to see the scarves hung to dramatic effect. If this was a test, the scarves passed with flying colours.
The show was also the first chance for the 19th century museum to show itself off to the annual wave of artworld insiders after two-years of reconstruction, refurbishment and expansion overseen by local heroes Herzog & de Meuron. As well as beautifully reworked internals, the museum now boasts a dramatic new folded roof of shimmering ceramic tiles.
'Hermès Editeur - Couleurs de l'Ombre' is on at the Museum der Kulturen, Basel, until 21 June
Read about Daniel Buren's 'Photos-souvenirs au carré' scarves for Hermès