The master of the silent moment trains his lens on his lifelong obsession: birds
As a small boy growing up in the Japanese countryside, photographer Masao Yamamoto enjoyed looking up at the sky. From his classroom window, he would gaze at the windblown clouds, mesmerized by airborne creatures such as birds, butterflies and winged insects. He sometimes dreamed of riding on the back of a bird and flying away to faraway places.
Yamamoto’s career as a photographer began in 1993. One of Japan’s most important living photographers, Yamamoto has taken many different approaches to photography over the past 20 years. But what has remained constant is the artist’s belief that humans are just a small part of nature, united with it and part of it. Throughout his career, Yamamoto has often returned to animals, particularly birds, as a subject, reflecting his childhood fascination with the creatures and his eternal commitment to the unity of humanity and nature. With Tori, the photographer departs on yet another artistic journey, with a new series of quietly moving animal images (tori means “bird” in Japanese). Yamamoto asks himself, and his viewers: What do we see, and what do we identify with, in birds?
Yamamoto Masao (born 1957) trained as an oil painter before turning to photography. His portraits, landscapes and still lifes are silver prints that are delicately toned and sometimes overpainted/dyed. Among his previous publications is Small Things in Silence (RM/Seigensha, 2015). In the US, Yamamoto is represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Jackson Fine Arts in Atlanta, Craig Krull Gallery in Los Angeles and the Etherton Gallery in Tucson, among others.
Yamamoto Masao (born 1957) trained as an oil painter before turning to photography. His portraits, landscapes and still lifes are made into small, delicate prints, which the photographer then frequently overpaints, dyes or steeps in tea. Among his previous publications is Small Things in Silence (RM/Seigensha, 2015). In the US, Yamamoto is represented by the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco, PDX Contemporary Art in Oregon, the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston and the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, among others.
Published by RM/Seigensha. Text by Masao Yamamoto, Jacobo Siruela.
Japanese photographer Masao Yamamoto (born 1957) trained as an oil painter before discovering that photography was the ideal medium for the theme that most interested him—the ability of the image to evoke memories. Small Things in Silence surveys the 20-year career of one of Japan's most important photographers. Yamamoto's portraits, landscapes and still lifes are made into small, delicate prints, which the photographer frequently overpaints, dyes or steeps in tea. Edited and sequenced by Yamamoto himself, this volume includes images from each of the photographer's major projects—Box of Ku, Nakazora, Kawa and Shizuka—as well as installation shots of some of Yamamoto's original photographic installations. In the words of Yamamoto himself: "I try to capture moments that no one sees and make a photo from them. When I seen them in print, a new story begins."