Chicago, Halloween (1959-61)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
Chicago, Town (1959-61)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
Chicago, Town (around 1960)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
Chicago, Snow and Car (around 1950)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Chicago, Snow and Car (around 1950)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 10

Chicago Snow Designs In the proliferating Japanese cities where architecture happens randomly and regardless of how a building integrates into its environment, and everyone puts up giant billboards for himself in order to stand out, urban planning is largely unrelated to aesthetic aspects. To the eyes of foreigners, the cities built on the principle of not adopting any principle seem to look rather interesting as uniquely novel Japanese urban landscapes. Even sceneries that are normally an eyesore naturally turn into

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Shape, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

The catalogue of Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s works includes photographs that just simply depict “objects.” Incorporating elements of texture in shapes defined by lines and surfaces, those pictures represent a fascinating part of Ishimoto’s work. One of the earliest products in Ishimoto’s photographing career is the “Shape” series, highlighting from a design point of view the unique textures and characteristic features of “typically Japanese shapes” given to Japanese traditional articles using porcelain, wood and lacquer. In the 1970s and ’80s, a time

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Reconstructed: Diogenes with a Camera V, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having studied the concept and methodology of modern photography at the New Bauhaus*1 in Chicago after the war, Ishimoto Yasuhiro developed his own austere formative and compositional sensibility backed by the philosophy of Bauhaus style modern design, for which Kochi-raised Ishimoto became one of the most nationally and internationally renowned photographers in Japan. Ishimoto returned to Chicago and lived there again between 1959 and ’61. During these three years, he unveiled new works at exhibitions at The Art Institute of

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Portrait, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having studied the concept and methodology of modern photography at the New Bauhaus*1 in Chicago after the war, Ishimoto Yasuhiro developed his own austere formative and compositional sensibility backed by the philosophy of Bauhaus style modern design, for which Kochi-raised Ishimoto became one of the most nationally and internationally renowned photographers in Japan. While claiming that he considered photographing people more difficult and trying than shooting other subjects, Ishimoto consciously turned toward portrait photography during the three years he lived

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Chicago, Town (around 1960)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 9

Codes in Photographs Grouped around two men in the center, the crowd in this picture hold their breath as they gaze at a certain point. The photograph is charged with a sense of tension that suggests that something is about to happen this very moment, whereas the massive pillar that marks the central element here pushes the tension further up. What is it that these men are staring at? A hint can be found painted on the pillar. As you

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Chicago, Town (1959-61)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 8

Lights and Shadows of Chicago The Ishimotos’ wedding anniversary was at the end of last month (October). As they married in 1954, they would have celebrated their golden wedding last year (2004). Matchmakers between the couple were ikebana artist Sofu Teshigawara and architect Kenzo Tange, and their wedding reception was held at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, organized by members of the Japan Design Committee of which Ishimoto was a founding member as well. The collection of private

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Chicago, Halloween (1959-61)
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 7

Children at Halloween The photograph introduced in the previous installment of this series shows a girl playing at a park. The girl is tied to a tree, and to many it obviously looked as if she was being abused. Children are sometimes ruthless and cruel. It probably was some kind of game in which brave boys would free the captured heroine. Children’s games are changing with the times (in different ways depending on the country). Yasuhiro Ishimoto used to play

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Chicago, Little Ones
1948-50
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 6

Between Two Countries As this year (2005) marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, various media had put together special programs reviewing the war. NHK’s “Shin-Nichiyo Bijutsukan” (“Sunday Museum”) did a showcase of internationally renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s work. The program shed light on the issue that his plans for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial were rejected for the simple reason that he was American. The cenotaph for the A-bomb victims was eventually made by Kenzo Tange, and

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Chicago, North Avenue Beach
1948-52
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 5

North Avenue Beach One of the Chicagoans’ favorite leisure activities in summer is swimming in the lake. Chicago is located in the inland region and therefore remote from the seashore, so their beach is at Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes. Covering an area of 58,000km2 (about 90 times that of Lake Biwa), Lake Michigan is not only the sixth biggest lake in the world, but it also has beautiful sandy beaches. When standing on the lake’s edge,

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Chicago, North Avenue Beach
1948-52
©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Transient, Fleeting: The World of Ishimoto Yasuhiro part 5

North Avenue Beach One of the Chicagoans’ favorite leisure activities in summer is swimming in the lake. Chicago is located in the inland region and therefore remote from the seashore, so their beach is at Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes. Covering an area of 58,000km2 (about 90 times that of Lake Biwa), Lake Michigan is not only the sixth biggest lake in the world, but it also has beautiful sandy beaches. When standing on the lake’s edge,

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