Tokihiro Sato Illuminates His Own Movements in Long Exposure Photographs

For close to 4 decades, Japanese artist Tokihiro Sato has been experimenting with long exposure photography. Specifically, he explores ideas of tempo­rality by entering his own frame and creating tiny points of light or illuminated lines to record his movements through space.

Sato records his movements through lengthy exposures that typically last between 1 and 3 hours. He shoots both at night, with minimal light, but also during the day, in which he equips his camera with a darkening filter. When shooting in daylight, he flashes a mirror at the sun, reflecting its light into the camera lens. At night he “draws” with a small flashlight, creating eerie scenes punctuated by tiny pinpoints of light that record track Sato’s movement, but not his physical form.

Sato’s work will be part of an upcoming group exhibition, and the final exhibition, at Hara Museum of Art, which is permanently closing in January 2021. “Time Flows: Reflections by 5 Artists” will be on display from September 19, 2020 – January 11, 2021.


  1. Bruce C. Boatwright

    August 8, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Mesmerizing. As if something that cannot hide, is not seen.

  2. yeah maybe not the exhibit i would have chosen to close out such a wonderful museum. but what the heck do i know.

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