The Lying Lens

One of the most striking pieces in "End of Time," the career retrospective of legendary Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto now running at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, is a portrait of Japan's controversial World War II and postwar Emperor, Hirohito. The black-and-white, 1.5 m by 1.2 m print is astonishing in its crisp detail. Hirohito is seated and wearing full morning dress, and every crease of his jowl, every fold of his trousers, every line on the knuckles of his fingers is finely articulated. It is almost as if the Emperor is sitting there, in the museum, 17 years after...

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