Masao Yamamoto

Japanese Photographer | Born: 1957

Masao Yamamoto was born in 1957 in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. Although originally trained as a painter, he is one of the best known Japanese photographers working today. Yamamoto’s images are like fragments from a puzzle that capture an allusive, ineffable moment. He has produced several limited edition series of mixed media photographs, including Box of Ku, Nakazora, Kawa=Flow and most recently, Shizuku=Cleanse. He has published several books among them: A box of Ku, (Nazraeli Press, 1998); Nakazora (Nazraeli, 2001); The Path of Green Leaves (Nazraeli, 2002); Omizuao (Nazraeli, 2003); Santoka (Harunatsuakifuyu Sousho, Japan,2003); é (2005); Fujisan (Nazraeli, 2008); Yamamoto Masao, (Galerie Albert Baumgarten, Germany, 2009); Yamamoto, Masao (21st Editions, 2011);and Where we met: Yamamoto, Masao and Arpaïs du Bois (Lanoo Publishers, Belgium, 2011). Masao Yamamoto’s work has been exhibited all over the world, and his photographs are in many public and private collections including: the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the International Center for Creative Photography; the Center for Creative Photography; the Santa Barbara Art Museum; the Victoria & Albert Museum; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie; and the Sir Elton John Collection.

Source: Etherton Gallery


Masao Yamamoto (born 1957 in Gamagori City in Aichi Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese freelance photographer known for his small photographs, which seek to individualize the photographic prints as objects. Yamamoto began his art studies as a painter, studying oil painting under Goro Saito in his native city. He presently uses photography to capture images evoking memories. He blurs the border between painting and photography however, by experimenting with his printing surfaces. He dyes, tones (with tea), paints on, and tears his photographs. His subjects include still-lives, nudes, and landscapes. He also makes installation art with his small photographs to show how each print is part of a larger reality.

Source: Wikipedia


Masao Yamamoto's photography is known for evoking emotional power in the form of small-scale photographs. Photographer Masao Yamamoto (1957-present) was born in Aichi Prefecture in Japan. Originally interested in pursuing painting, studying oil painting specifically under Goro Saito. Though Masao Yamamoto eventually transitioned into photography in 1993, his painting background is apparent in his works’ painterly look, incorporating blurs and experimenting with printing surfaces; with many Masao Yamamoto photographs, he manipulated the silver gelatin prints through analogue, which means such as painting the images with tea or actual paint and tearing them. Subjects vary wildly, ranging from Japanese countryside to nude female bodies. Many liken Yamamoto’s art to haikus, considering his mastery of brevity and focus on everyday details. Yamamoto's photography and prints are on permanent display at museums like the J.P. Morgan Chase Art Collection as well as many other private, corporate and public collections.

Masao Yamamoto's photography style is a study in tactile experience, encouraging viewer engagement through nuanced layers and unique museum and gallery installations. His extremely detail-oriented approach creates an intricate, ephemeral feel; each photograph is an isolated section of a larger series, like A Box of Ku, which featured handheld-sized images. Most of his series work is unframed and artificially aged to mimic a tangibility, further lending to the accessibility.

Masao Yamamoto has published many monographs, including Tori (Radius Books, 2016), Poems of Santoka (Galerie Vevais, 2016), Small things in silence, (Editorial RM, 2014), KAWA=Flow (Kochuten Books, 2011), YAMAMOTO MASAO (21st Editions, 2011), Fujisan (Nazraeli Press, 2008), é (Nazraeli Press, 2005), Omizuao (Nazraeli Press, 2003), Santoka (Harunatsuakifuyu Sousho, Japan, 2003), The Path of Green Leaves (Nazraeli Press, 2002) and A Box of Ku (Nazraeli Press, 1998).

Masao Yamamoto's photography and prints are on display in museums and galleries across the United States, Japan, Europe, Russia and Brazil. His work is included in permanent collections like International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Sir Elton John Collection. Masao Yamamoto has also had photographs hung at Jackson Fine Art, including solo shows Nakazora (2003) and A Box of Ku (1999) and group show Contemporary Japanese Photography.

Source: Jackson Fine Art

Where We Met
Author: Masao Yamamoto
Publisher: Lannoo Publishers (Acc)
Year: 2012 - Pages: 128
A combination of photographs by Yamamoto Masao and drawings by Arpaïs du Bois, beautifully complementing each other.
 
A Box of Ku
Author: Masao Yamamoto
Publisher: Nazraeli Pr
Year: 1998 - Pages: 112
From the publisher: "The photographs of Japanese artist Masao Yamamoto remind one of postcards or snapshots, records of intimate moments that are at once fleeting and eternal, private and universal. Bent, frayed and stained, the jewel-like prints -- most of which are small enough to fit into the palm of a hand -- transcend their medium and become more than their subject."
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Andrea Abrego
Nationality: El Salvador
Born: 1998
I was born in El Salvador on December 10, 1998. I lived with my parents for a short amount of time, where I kept moving and changing schools every three years until I was 10. I moved in with my aunt where she kept cabinets of photos, where I used to spend a lot of hours looking at them. On those four years I lived with my aunt, I was exposed to life experiences, where the only thing I really had was what I called 'home' and a relationship with my cousins and siblings. I (…)
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
Andrea Abrego
 
Nadav Kander
Nationality: Israeli
Born: 1961

Nadav Kander is a London based photographer, artist and director, internationally renowned for his portraiture and landscapes. His work forms part of the public collection at the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Kander's work is also exhibited in numerous international galleries and museums. Kander was born in tel Aviv, tal aviv. His father flew Boeing 707s for El-Al but when he lost his eye for medical reasons he was unable to (…)
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
Nadav Kander
 
Erwin Olaf
Nationality: Dutch
Born: 1959

Erwin Olaf (b. 1959) is an internationally exhibiting artist with works in the collections of museums and galleries around the world. Olaf has received numerous highly prestigious commissions and awards. Olaf emerged onto the international art scene when his series ‘Chessmen’ won the Young European Photographer of the Year award in 1988. This was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, with subsequent solo and group shows at major museums and (…)
 
Josephine Sacabo
Nationality: American
Born: 1944

Artist Statement: "I believe in Art as a means of transcendence and connection. My images are simply what I’ve made from what I have been given. I hope they have done justice to their sources and that they will, for a moment, ‘stay the shadows of contentment too short lived.’”

Sacabo divides her time between New Orleans and Mexico. Both places inform her work, resulting in imagery that is as dreamlike, surreal, and romantic as the places that she (…)
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo
 
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala
Nationality: Spanish
Born: 1979
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, is based in Spain. He took up a career in photography while at university, aged 19, focussing on issues of social conflict. He has now exclusively joined the Reportage by Getty Images roster, having previously worked with Agence Vu (December 2005 - March 2009), and as a freelance photographer before that. His key bodies of work to date have included conflict coverage in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, (…)
 
Richard Tuschman
Nationality: American
Richard Tuschman began experimenting with digital imaging in the early 1990’s, developing a style that synthesized his interests in photography, painting and assemblage. His most recent series, Hopper Meditations, combines hand built miniature dioramas seamlessly combined with real life human models, inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper.

His work has been exhibited internationally and recognized by, among others, Photo District News, American Photography,(…)
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
Richard Tuschman
 
Marcin Ryczek
Nationality: Poland
Born: 1982
Marcin Ryczek was born 1982 in Lublin (Poland). He lives and works in Cracow. His photography refers mainly to symbols and geometry. "Minimum form, maximum content" is the essential principle that characterizes his photos.

His photographs have been presented at exhibitions in USA, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Austria, South Korea, England, Romania, France, Poland, Germany, Japan, China, India … His photos have been published in the press and other media around the (…)
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
Marcin Ryczek
 
Branda Bancel
Nationality: American

Brenda Bancel is the president of the Take 5 Foundation and owner of Brenda Bancel Photography LLC. She spent ten years in the advertising industry working with clients such as Apple and IBM before realizing that she wanted to focus on nonprofit work and using her own creative talent. She is a recent graduate of the New England School of Photography, where she graduated with honors in Documentary. She hopes to use photography to bring awareness to important social (…)
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
Branda Bancel
 
Jeff Brouws
Nationality: American
Born: 1955

Jeff Brouws, born in San Francisco in 1955, is a self-taught artist. Pursuing photography since age 13, where he roamed the railroad and industrial corridors of the South Bay Peninsula, Brouws has compiled a visual survey of America's evolving rural, urban and suburban cultural landscapes. Using single photographs as subtle narratives and compiling typologies to index the nation's character, he revels in the "readymades" found in many of these environments. Influenced (…)
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
 
Alastair Magnaldo
Nationality: French
I was ten when I first discovered photography and was even then fascinated by the light that B & W prints suffused. Armed with a Voigtländer and a handheld lightmeter, I made my first steps on the long and winding road of B & W photography. Ever since, I've kept a vision of photography filled with light and I've been trying to express it in most of my compositions,occasionally using colour to improve a setting. After these inconclusive beginnings, I gave up any pretention (…)
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Discover the 6th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices