small things in silence
Gallery FIFTY ONE
Opening reception: Thursday, Dec. 3rd 2015 from 6 – 9 pm
GALLERY FIFTY ONE is honoured to present the solo exhibition ‘Small things in Silence’ by the Japanese photographer-painter Masao Yamamoto (°1957). Yamamoto’s delicate, small sized portraits, landscapes and still-lifes capture a suggestive imagery. Infused by the Japanese cultural tradition his search for beauty results in a poetic visual language wherein the spectator complete its meaning.
The aesthetic power of the pictures of Yamamoto Masao (Japan, b. 1957) is unique. Refined, subtle and powerful at the same time. He succeeds to unfold the photographic medium into his own world, far off leading standards. The photo prints are small, sometimes even minuscule, and require a profound observation. The manual modifications by the artist provide an experimental look, with frayed edges and color additions. His photographs seem to be marked by time, but that impression is the result of a balanced and accurate intervention by the artist. The technique of mixed media and the exceptional prints generate a close connection with the object. Yamamoto narrates no prefabricated story. He offers a glimpse into a harmonious world that is visible for everyone, but not perceived by everybody. For Yamamoto, harmony is the constant interaction between man and nature. Yamamoto’s work is anchored in that direct relationship with his environment.
He has five series: A box of Ku, Nakazora, KAWA=FLOW, Shizuka=Cleanse and his latest series La vie simple.
Born in Aichi, Japan in 1957
Lives and works in Japan
La vie simple
This series was shot in a small village in Ardèche, France between 2013 and 2019. Yamamoto was invited to the village several times to photograph the daily life of the villagers while staying at a local couple’s home who runs a cultural institution in the village.
A box of Ku
Vast landscapes, societies, countries and space are all made from smaller parts.
These small things not only exist as elements that make up the whole; they each have their own story, as everyone has their own life. Under the rock there are thousands of baby ants being born, caterpillars eating leaves, birds that are attacked by cats – small events are taking place in the continuous flow of time.
Searching for beauty within these easily overlooked small events.
It represents a broader space than A Box of Ku. The space between sky and earth, the place where birds, etc. fly. Empty air.. An internal hollowness. Vague. Hollow. Around the center of the sky. Emptiness. A state when feet do not touch the ground. Inattentiveness. The inability to decide between two things. Midway. The center of the sky (the zenith). A Buddhist term.
KAWA = FLOW
This serie is about the world where we are and the world where we go to in the future. Although we seem to be connected continually there is a rupture between us in the present and those that went before us or that come next.
I tried to perceive this rupture as a KAWA (FLOW, river) that divides a plain
and expressed the resulting reflections in this works