TAKASHI ARAI : Daily D-Type Project

8 - 22 April 2021

For the past decade Takashi Arai (b. 1978, Kawasaki, Japan), has been making each day one daguerreotype, creating the Daily D-type Project. This series, which acts for the artist as a journal, has a diverse subject matter ranging from self-portraits, landscape, nuclear issues, cityscapes, still lives and sakura.


Using a 19th Century lens, Arai hand polishes each silver plate to allow the ideal reflective polished surface. Attentive to every detail, a single plate of 6 x 6 cm takes Arai over an hour to polish. The reflective quality of the daguerreotype plate is essential to its magic.


Called, “the magic mirror,” a well-made plate has the unique quality of implicating the viewer in the frame. When standing in front of Arai’s work, the viewer's face is discernible on the reflective surface of the image. This mirroring of the ghostly silver plates allows the viewer to become completely enmeshed within the worlds depicted. Using variable exposure times (several seconds to fifteen minutes), the artist's involvement is felt in each plate’s subtle imperfections and physical markings, as in the unearthly blue glow evident on some plates.



  • Takashi Arai's work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, including those at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe. The major series, 'Multiple Monuments for 1000 Women No1-10', was exhibited in Afterglow, Yokohama Triennale 2020. He received in 2018 the Salerno Festival 1st Prize Short Film Category for Oshita Kagami and in 2016 the 41st Kimura Ihei Award for his first monograph MONUMENTS, published by PGI in 2015. Arai was the winner of Source-Cord Prize, UK, 2014. His works are held in major public collections including the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Musée Guimet, Paris.