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."
 
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