(born Akasaki, 1899–1988)
Born to a wealthy family in a remote coastal town, Shiotani represents the transition from pictorialism to a more modernist aesthetic in Japanese photography. Influenced by the US and European pictorial movement of the early twentieth century, he adopted various techniques that profoundly impacted photographers who followed him—including Ueda Shoji, also from Tottori Prefecture.
Drawn to the sea and the natural landscape of Akasaki, Shiotani remained tied to the area his entire life. He used the popular Vest Pocket Kodak folding camera and practiced darkroom techniques such as “deformation,” in which an image is distorted by bending or curling. He also wiped the surface of photo paper with oil and retouched it with pigments to create an ethereal, dreamlike quality in his photographs.
Shiotani founded the Akasaki Vest [Pocket Kodak] Club in 1919 and helped found the Japan Photography Association, the successor to the Japan Photographic Art Association, in 1928. His first solo exhibition was in 1971 at the Art Gallery University in his hometown, although his works remained relatively unknown in Japan until recently.