In 1996, Gueorgui Pinkhassov spent three weeks in Tokyo, working on assignment for the EU Japan Committee. The brief was minimal, only asking photographers to “render a vision of the city that they are discovering for the first time, to let themselves be seduced by the charm so peculiar to this city, to the excess of contrasts and the ambiguity of options”.

In his signature style, Pinkhassov presents a Tokyo bathed in a surreal, reflective glow: “I refer to myself as a hunter… I’m chasing light, and by looking for reflection, somehow I can express my creativity.”

My work is pure improvisation, I am always very spontaneous

Gueorgui Pinkhassov
© Gueorgui Pinkhassov | Magnum Photos

Gueorgui Pinkhassov was born in Moscow in 1952. His interest in photography began while he was still at school. After studying cinematography at the VGIK (The Moscow Institute of Cinematography), he went on to work at the Mosfilm studio and then as a set photographer.

In 1978, Pinkhassov joined the Moscow Union of Graphic Arts and obtained the status of an independent artist. His work was noticed by the prominent Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who invited Pinkhassov to the set to make a reportage about his film Stalker(1979).

Pinkhassov moved permanently to Paris in 1985 and joined Magnum Photos three years later. He works regularly for the international press, particularly for Geo, Actuel and The New York Times Magazine. His book, Sightwalk, explores individual details, through reflections or particular kinds of light, often approaching abstraction.

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