HANA, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Common Cosmos, 1986 ©Kochi Prececture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center

Fascinated by flowers’ structure, with the slender stalk or peduncle supporting large petals, and by the wonders of nature itself, Ishimoto built a simple studio in the living room of his Tokyo home and began photographing flowers. That was in 1986.
With a black board reflector and a flash unit set up in his living room, Ishimoto photographed flowers throughout their lifespans: from their buds’ opening to their wilting and drying up. He immediately decided to publish those images as a photobook. His publisher requested that he complete the photography for the book in three months, but Ishimoto continued his work for a year. The longer time period mattered because he could have photographed only a limited group of flowers in bloom within three months; his intention was to photograph the flowers of all four seasons. Thanks to his determination, the resulting book, HANA, shows us flowers from each of the seasons―the Chinese peonies that bloom in early summer, summer’s common sunflowers, chrysanthemums in autumn, and the narcissus that grace early spring.
Ishimoto also contributed the essay “Photographing flowers” included at the end of the book. In it, he states, “When I formally arranged these flowers, I could have been laughed at by people saying, ‘Aren’t they all just flowers?’ But I was seriously attempting to encounter the creation of the form of the flower through my lens.” He incorporated the sculptural beauty of flowers and their evanescence as living things in his photographs. Ishimoto also wrote, “You will notice that these images are totally devoid of color. I intentionally avoided colors. The first reason was, of course, that I hoped to take photographs that scrupulously adhered to the flower’s form; but looking back, I can also see that I was resisting the usual mundane inundation of color, which seemed to me like nothing less than insanity.” These choices reveal the distinctive characteristics of Ishimoto’s HANA, which are not the flowers, the hana, that other photographers have photographed.
This exhibition presents original prints made by Ishimoto. The core consists of works included in the HANA photobook.

List of works – 1 (PDF)

List of works – 2 (PDF)

 

 


Architecture of Chicago, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Chicago is for Ishimoto Yasuhiro a special kind of place, as the American city is where he spent his student years, and also where he shot the photographs that were subsequently published in his acclaimed book, Chicago, Chicago. In the fall of 1966, after having relocated to Japan, he had another opportunity to travel to Chicago for shootings for a special feature on “the Chicago school and its civilization historical background” in the architecture magazine SD*1. Ishimoto, whose scope of

read more →

Kunisaki-kiko: Journey to the Kunisaki, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

Located in the northeast of Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, the Kunisaki Peninsula protrudes into the sea in a shape that looks like a bowl turned upside down. This is where a unique hybrid religious culture called ”Rokugo-manzan (Mountain of Six Sanctuaries)” was formed in the Nara and Heian periods, incorporating the Usa Jingu Shrine’s traditional worship of Hachiman (Shintoism) into the Buddhist teachings that were brought to Japan from the Asian continent. Ishimoto Yasuhiro visited the region to work on

read more →

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

read more →