YAMAMOTO Masao “Living Things ≅ Still Life” (TOKYO)

28 August - 28 September 2024

Mizuma Art Gallery is pleased to present “Living Things ≅ Still Life,” a solo exhibition by YAMAMOTO Masao, an artist renowned for his serene and poetic photographic works and installation, commencing on Wednesday the 28th of August 2024.


For this exhibition, Yamamoto will showcase new works created using the ambrotype, a 19th-century photographic technique. Taking glass plates coated with a dense collodion solution, he produces beautifully detailed glass negatives through the wet plate process. When these negatives are subsequently placed on a black cloth, they reveal intricate positive images. The painterly expression that can be achieved by the application of chemicals, as well as its distinct materiality compared to photographic paper, are some of the captivating features of this technique.


In recent years, Yamamoto has been engaging with bonsai, tree roots, and stones found on the roadside, discovering that the universe resides in these small fragments of the world, as within everything. For this exhibition, he uses the ambrotype technique to create photographic works reminiscent of paintings on glass that depict various living things (≅ still life). Yamamoto himself explains:


 Life may be found in everything around us.

 I feel the breath of life not only in living things but also in man-made objects.

 However, what exactly is “living”?

 Without a clear meaning that can be put it into words, I gather and put things together as I please.

 These objects construct the space, which I transfer into photographs.

 In these ephemeral pictures, I feel as if living things have become still life, and still life has become living things.

 Just as a migratory bird freely soars through the sky, I too, would like to drift through a world with no clear boundaries.


The exhibition will focus on ambrotype glass wet plate photographs, each displayed individually on pedestals. On the walls, there will be gelatin silver prints created using the glass wet plates as negatives, and the smaller gallery room will showcase works selected from various series. We warmly invite you to visit and enjoy this contemplative exhibition by Yamamoto Masao.