Once you have learned the sense of “active passiveness,” it means that you have acquired a solid style of treating your mind and body. Being at one with the world, your body experiences a pleasant feeling, by which just naturally, you will have respect and humble thoughts for the universe. I have learned that martial arts (photography) involve very profound sensory, spiritual experiences.
The Japanese artist Yamamoto Masao creates a new installation especially for Carla Sozzani’s Art Gallery. The work is composed by a big selection of photographs from Nakazora and A box of Ku1 series.
Both projects are made by photographs, mainly black and white ones, printed by traditional means on photographic paper. Each image is so small that sometimes it's hard to identify its subject. The borders are irregular, bad cut and sometimes even consumed.
The photographs are so creased that they look like those, long forgotten aside and then found unexpectedly again in a purse or in an old box. The defects, bends, the paper purposely torn, a printing that is sometimes far from flawless, characterize each photograph its own way.
The value of Masao Yamamoto's work rests on single images, created with elegance, balance and precision, as well as on the whole composition, on the aesthetic and meaning that links all his photographs.
Whole Yamamoto's work is based on fragments: his photographs are small instants of everyday life and his subjects, often quite ordinary and sometimes even banal, are able to convey the artist's personal universe with deep sensitivity. At the same time, the single fragments, when collected together, create a story, an atmosphere.
The relation between the white/empty space and that dedicated to the images is particularly interesting in his work. Both are equally important for the composition. Like a symphony, the installation is shaped by the images (notes) as well as the white empty space (silence). The balance between these two elements and Yamamoto's sensitivity, make his work an outstanding, a very refined research.
Over the years Yamamoto Masao has produced a series of valuable books, where the white page becomes a surface over which he can make a composition of photographs. Among them Omizuao, packaged in a precious wooden box, is a stripe of Japanese paper, folded like an accordion. The photographs are suitably disposed in the space so that a variety of combinations of images can be obtained, according to the way the sheet is bent. Nakazora is shaped like a "makimono", the traditional creaseless Japanese roll.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2006 Nakazora, galleria Camera Obscura, Paris
Installations, Hackelbury Fine Art, London
[é], Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo
[é], Gallery Sincerite, Tyohashi
2005 [é], Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta
[é], PDX Contemporary Art, Portland
[é],Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
2004 [é], Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco
Nakazora "valiantly-that too, pitifully-that too, white boxes",
PDX Contemporary Art, Portland
Nakazora, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
2003 Nakazora"Corridor of Consider", Chiesa dei SS. Jacopo e
Filippo, Certaldo, Italy
Nakazora, Daniela Facchinato image gallery, Bologna
Omizuao, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Nakazora, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta
Santoka, Gallery Sincerite, Toyohashi, Japan
2002 Nakazora, S.K. Josefsberg Studio, Portland
Nakazora, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
2001 Nakazora, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
2000 A Box of "Ku" XI, Sepia International, New York
A Box of "Ku" XI, Spiral Gallery, Tokyo
1999 A Box of "Ku" X, Gallery Sincerite, Toyohashi, Japan
A Box of "Ku" X, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta
1998 A Box of "Ku" X, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco
1997 A Box of "Ku" IX, Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco
A Box of "Ku" IX, Kohji Ogura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
1996 A Box of "Ku" VIII, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
1995 A Box of "Ku" VI, Gallery Nayuta, Yokohama, Japan
1994 A Box of "Ku" IV, PARCO, Kichijyoji, Japan
A Box of "Ku" V, Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco
1993 A Box of "Ku" I, Gallery White Art, Tokyo
A Box of "Ku" II, Hosomi Gallery, Tokyo
A Box of "Ku" III, Gallery Sincerite, Toyohashi, Japan
GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2006 Picturing Eden, George Eastman House
2004 "Il nudo tra ideale e realta", Galleria d'Arte Moderna (GAM) di
Artists of Nazraeli Press, White Wall Gallery, SOUL
2003 Japanese Photography1970's-1980's, S.K.Josefsberg Studio,
2000 "Chorus of Light" Photographs from the Sir Elton John
Collection, High Museum of Art, Atlanta
1999 Modena per la Fotografia 1999, Modena, Italy
HOLND FSTVL, Amsterdam, Holand
1998 “Waterproof" EXPO'98 LISBOAMEDIALOGUE Photography
in Contemporary Japanese Art '98, Tokyo Metropolitan
Museum of Photography
1996 Ten Year Anniversary Exhibition, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale
Contemporary Japanese Photography, Jackson Fine Art,
1995 A Box of "Ku" VII, The 1st Tokyo International Photo
A Box of "Ku" VII, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
A Box of "Ku" VII, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale
1994 "Flower Studies" Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco
"intimate memories" A.O.I Gallery, Santa Fe
1990 "SPIRAL Take Art Collection" Aoyama Spiral Gallery, Tokyo
1988 FOTOFEST '88, Huston
"Japanese Avant-garde" Ken Damy Gallery, Brescia, Italy
1987 Torino International Photo Biennale, Torino, Italy
COLLECTIONS Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The International Center of Photography, New York
Center for Creative Photography (CCP), Tucson
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara
Portland Art Museum, Portland
Victoria&Albert Museum, London
Meison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris
BIOGRAPHY Born in Gamagori, in the region of Aichi, Japan in1957. Studies painting with Goro Saito.
Since 1986 has many exhibitions in Japan, Europe and United States. Prestigious collectors and museums bought his photographs in Europe and USA.
He is actually regarded as one of the most important Japanese photographers alive.
He lives and works in Yokohama.
1 The Buddhist word “nakazora” means the space between the earth and the sky, the centre of the celestial sphere (the zenith), but also the emptiness.
“Ku”, from which comes the title “A box of Ku”, is a Chinese sign that has different meanings: “earth”, but also “empty, absence”. When taken as Buddhist word it means: “ what we can’t know” and so we can’t describe.