Yamamoto Masao – Itteki

Posted by Fabio 5 December 2019

Itteki, an exhibition of new work by Japanese artist Yamamoto Masao. Focusing on Bonsai, the Japanese art of cultivating miniaturized potted trees, this series of toned, gelatin silver prints continues Yamamoto’s exploration of the emotional power of photography through landscape and his surrounding environment.

Speaking about this series, Yamamoto notes the cultural significance of Bonsai, “Since ancient times, people have considered Bonsai to be a microcosmic representation of the whole universe, residing in a single pot, and the proper way to appreciate Bonsai was to place them on a “tokonoma” alcove in a traditional Japanese tatami room.” In his characteristically playful approach, Yamamoto displaces the trees from their usual environment, setting them within dramatic landscapes, and star-filled skies, occasionally enhanced by miniscule drops (itteki 滴) of gold paint on the photographic surface. His manipulation of perspective creates quite startling results, in which the trees tower over mountain ranges and appear larger than the moon, or burst through the clouds into the heavens.

Yamamoto Masao
Yancey Richardson, NY
December 12, 2019 – February 8, 2020