Color and Language, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

The vivid color photographs created by the technique of multiple exposure represent a series that Ishimoto has dedicated himself to over half a century.
Utilizing this method of projecting multiple images onto the same piece of film, Ishimoto combined the organic shapes of trees, and the straight lines of architectural constructions, with colors found at various places in the city. Different from the conventional method of photographing by focusing on a subject with a certain idea of the final picture in mind, with multiple exposure the photographer has no way of knowing what the result will look like until the photo is developed. Thus we may speak of an “accidental beauty” of sorts that emerges from the encounters of colors and forms. As opposed to the beautiful shades of black and white that we have come to associate with Ishimoto, these are unique works with a strong notion of unexpectedness.
Ishimoto focused on the creation of multiple exposure pictures especially during the period of his second stay in Chicago between 1958 and ’61. He referred to the series as his “never-ending play with colors and shapes,” and as a matter of fact, it continued even after his return to Japan, as Takenaka Corporation chose Ishimoto’s work for the cover of their quarterly magazine approach from 1973 onward, and several photo books dedicated to this series were subsequently published. This exhibition showcases works that were initially published in 2008 in the photo book COMPOSITION (the Japanese title “Meguriau iro to katachi” literally means “encounters of colors and forms”), accompanied by Ishimoto’s own commentary.

List of works – 1(PDF)


Chicago, Child(1959-61) from "Chicago, Chicago" ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Exhibition Chicago, Chicago

Having studied the concept and methodology of modern photography at the Institute of Design 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 came back in Japan right after his graduation from ID, however he returned to Chicago and lived there again between 1959 and ’61. With those

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Tokyo, Yamanote-Line 29, 1981-85 ©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Tokyo, Yamanote-Line, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Having been based in Tokyo since returning from Chicago in 1953, Ishimoto Yasuhiro continued to capture faces of society from within the neighborhood he was living in. In order to document the dramatic transformations of the mega city “Tokyo” on its way into the economic bubble of the 1980s, Ishimoto focused on the areas around the 29 stations of the Yamanote Line, for which he chose 8×10 inch large format film for its high resolution and plasticity. The resulting pictures

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Chicago Beach, 1948-52
(c)Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Beach, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Ishimoto Yasuhiro is a Kochi native photographer who has gained a worldwide reputation for creating works charged with exquisite formative sensibility and beautiful harmonies of black and white. After learning the basics of photography at the Institute of Design that was adopting the Bauhaus style in post-war Chicago, Ishimoto returned and settled down in Japan, but continued to photograph beach sceneries in both Japan and America. On display here is one representative series of works showing scenes of people gathering

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