Photographer Yuichi Hibi will open his exhibition “127” at Gallery 339 on Friday, March 9. The exhibition takes its name from the 127 film stock tha Hibi used in this series of black and white potraits. In a phone interview, Hibi explained that he obtained the eponymous camera and stock from a homeless drug user who subsequently became one of his subjects. The exhibition, shot largely in 1990’s New York has been collected in a book and captures the pre-Giuliani era in stark tones. Hibi spent time with each subject in hopes of coming to understand their circumstances and humanity. The photos are often gritty, but very lovingly rendered.
Originally an actor, Hibi moved to the US to pursue his acting career after a successful role in the Kurosawa film “Ran.” However, his true dream was to become a film maker and photography became a way to develop skills that would lend themselves to that end. An accidental photographer, the 127 exhibition was Hibi’s attempt to understand humanity on a widern level and develop a deeper sense of character. He is currently working on his first feature length film, “Ornament of Faith,” a complex drama focused on a brother and sister coping with harsh realities.