YAMAMOTO MASAO (Japanese, b. 1957)

Yamamoto Masao is a contemporary Japanese photographer who has gained international recognition with his quiet and meditative photographic images. 

“Life is an accumulation of moments, and if you can accomplish a sense of minimalism, deciding just what to leave in and leave out, you can achieve a completeness in your work,” says Yamamoto. Yamamoto compares his work to Haiku, a Japanese form of poetry:

“One characteristic of haiku is its ability to create a realistic image in people’s minds with very few words. The medium of my work is photography, which is one of the quietest modes of art expression. My work is small and monotone. It does not have as much texture as paintings or sculpture. If you displayed my work next to loud, talkative art, people would probably walk right by it without even noticing it. I choose to make my art using an old, simple method, as I wonder if we really need all this information that saturates our world today. I also feel too much information would give viewers indigestion, and they would not receive much from it. I feel this is how I am. I try to take time and speak to my viewers quietly, with as little information as possible. I hope people can perceive something from the information as if in a hunt for treasure.“

Selected Monographs:

Tori, 2017

Small Things in Silence, 2015

Kawa, 2011

Yamamoto Masao, 21st Editions, 2011

Omizuao, 2003

Nakazora, 2001

A Box of Ku, 1998

Selected Collections:

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris

Quinzaine photographique Nantes, France

Musei Civici Comune di Reggio Emilia, Italy

Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, Paris

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ

The International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Center for Creative Photography (CCP), Tucson, AZ