Photography // Masao Yamamoto
Updated: Jan 22, 2020
I'm always interested to share some artists that I really admire, and has a huge impact on my way of drawing, experiment and see things. The first one is Masao Yamamoto.
Masao Yamamoto's photographs are like vignettes of imagined memories--hazy, familiar, and uncannily private. Born in Japan and trained as a painter, Yamamoto began to work photographically in 1975.
His most famous work to date is entitled A Box of Ku, an ongoing series containing hundreds of unique, ruminative images. Yamamoto's photographs are usually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and their surfaces are given more attention than almost any other photographs made today. The artist distresses his final objects by creasing the prints, sanding them down, dying them, and fraying the edges. What one then sees is not so much an image as a souvenir from a dream. Not too many photographers pull this off successfully I was catch by his description on his website:
" Living in the forest, I feel the presence of many “treasures” breathing quietly in nature. I call this presence “Shizuka.” “Shizuka” means cleansed, pure, clear, and untainted. I walk around the forest and harvest my “Shizuka” treasures from soil. I try to catch the faint light radiated by these treasures with both my eyes and my camera. In Tao Te Ching , an ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu wrote , “A great presence is hard to see. A great sound is hard to hear. A great figure has no form.” What he means is that the world is full of noises that we humans are not capable of hearing. For example, we cannot hear the noises created by the movement of the universe. Although these sounds exist, we ignore them altogether and act as if only what we can hear exists. Lao-tzu teaches us to humbly accept that we only play a small part in the grand scheme of the universe. I feel connected to his words. I have always sensed that there is something precious in nature. I have an impression that something very vague and large might exist beyond the small things I can feel. This is why I started collecting “Shizuka” treasures. “Shizuka” transmits itself through the delicate movement of air, the smell of the earth, the faint noises of the environment, and rays of light. “Shizuka” sends messages to all five of my senses. Capturing light is the essence of photography. I am convinced more than ever that photography was created when humans wished to capture light. I hope you will enjoy “Shizuka”, the treasures of the forest, through my photographs.
Mar.15,2012 Yamamoto Masao
all content of this post by Masao Yamamoto .