By displaying different series, like LDN, CTY Slide Viewer and TYO2, the exhibition aims to showcase the photographer’s unique approach to portraying cityscapes. But what’s most characteristic about Cairn’s technique doesn’t reside solely on his lens but on his printing process. The artist has experimented a lot throughout his career. As the British Journal of Photography reviewed a while ago, “his background is in analogue alternative processes such as lith prints, salt prints and images printed onto aluminium sheets”, and he even experimented with the electronic ink from e-books. Unexpected and risky, but the results pay off.
Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, and above all, London, where he grew up, are the main subjects of his black-and-white pictures. By presenting his images with distortion and grain and shot from an unusual perspective, Cairns is carving a name of his own in the art world. But he doesn’t conform and keeps pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the dark room. An artistic force to be reckoned, the photographer still has a long way to go, and his exhibition at Akio Nagasawa is a perfect opportunity to see his incredible work.