Ishimoto Yasuhiro (1921-2012), a photographer with roots in Kochi, has been highly regarded in Japan and abroad for his clear focus on the essence of his photographic subjects, as well as strictly compositional concepts. Born in San Francisco as a son of agricultural immigrants, Ishimoto spent his childhood in Takaoka-gun (today Tosa City) in Kochi Prefecture, before moving back to the US to study cutting-edge modern design after the war. His studies at the Chicago school that is commonly known
Shiga prefecture, known as Omi province through the early modern period, is next door to Nara and Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capitals. Located where people were moving about extensively and trade flourished, the area developed not only through land transport but also water transport on Lake Biwa. Moreover, the western side of Lake Biwa (Kosei) is territory of great religious significance, for there are located the Hira Mountains, which include Mount Hiei, where Enryakuji Temple, a Tendai Buddhist temple, was founded
Sixty years ago, in 1960, the USA was in an election year just like now in 2020. It happened to be the time when Ishimoto was living in Chicago, where he took a large number of photographs to capture the mood of the moment. He imposed on himself the task of photographing people – which he was aware of as something he wasn’t particularly good at – and started roaming the streets of Chicago, walking and shooting until the soles
Today, June 14th, is Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s birthday. The son of Kochi natives who had immigrated to the USA as agricultural workers, photographer Ishimoto was born on this day in 1921 in San Francisco. As the family moved back to their hometown when he was only three years old, he had only faint memories of life in America. One sight that he did remember was that of red ships — presumably the countless freight vessels he had seen riding at anchor in
Initiated by Yamagishi Shoji, an editor/producer and at once a leading figure in the world of Japanese photography in the 1960s-70s, “Eizo no Gendai” was a series of books showcasing the works of such spirited photographers as Moriyama Daido, Tomatsu Shomei and Narahara Ikko among others. Among the ten volumes the series comprised, volume 8 was dedicated to Ishimoto Yasuhiro and his photos of the city “Tokyo.” After returning from Chicago, USA, in the 1960s Ishimoto launched into tremendous
The Museum of Art, Kochi is temporarily closed from Friday, March 6 to Sunday, March 22 and from Friday, April 10 to Sunday, April 26 Wednesday, May 6 Sunday, May 10 (tentative) in order to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. Some services are still available during the temporary closure. For more information, please contact us.
Ishimoto first encountered the “Mandalas of the Two Worlds (Sai-in Mandalas),” a national treasure at the Toji (Kyoo Gokokuji) temple in Kyoto, when he worked for the Taiyo magazine. The vivid beauty of the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures that he observed through his finder fascinated not only Ishimoto himself, but also the officials at the temple, which ultimately led to a very special photo shooting. In that session, realized in the intense heat of the summer of 1973, Ishimoto devoted
A neatly wrapped sea bream head on a tray, crab legs dismembered so that they are easy to eat, a pumpkin cut in half so that it is handier to use: the Wrapped Foods series consists of large-format Polaroid photographs (up to 20 x 24 inch images) of a plentitude of foods commonly sold in supermarkets. In 1982, a few years before producing these photographs of foods, Ishimoto Yasuhiro published Series: Food Journal, a year-long series of twenty-four food photographs,
No.1-38 No.39-83 No.84-131
The exhibition building of The Museum of Art, Kochi (including the Ishimoto Yasuhiro Exhibition Room) is currently closed for renovating suspended ceiling, and will reopen on January 2, 2020. For more information, please contact us.
Part 1 Part 2