Tomasz Gudzowaty: Sumo

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A poetical portrait of the world of professional sumo wrestling

The Polish photographer and filmmaker Tomasz Gudzowaty (born 1971) is known for the strong sense of perfection in his work—clear compositions, precisely chosen image frames, carefully considered down to the last detail. In Sumo, a photographic tribute to the Japanese national sport, Gudzowaty confronts his subject with the rebellious aesthetic of are-bure-bokeh, which means “rough, blurred, out of focus.” This visual style developed in Japan in the 1960s as a countercurrent to the prevailing aesthetic norm of photojournalism. In this latest series, Gudzowaty photographs not only the wrestlers in the throes of combat, but also life within the training stables where these young men live, eat and sleep together. The result is an extension of Gudzowaty’s previous documentary work, and a stunning black-and-white portrait of a remarkable sport within a society strongly shaped by both tradition and modernity.

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