Little Ones, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Collection Exhibition

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

Ishimoto Yasuhiro is primarily known for his exquisitely structured, modern and intelligent photographic works as displayed in Katsura, a collection of pictures of the Katsura Imperial Villa that blends Japanese tradition and Western modernism. In his early career, however, he often chose children as his photographic subjects. Characterized by Ishimoto’s trademark picture composition, the results are lively depictions of children in the slums of Chicago that are populated by immigrants from various countries, and children playing in the back-alleys of Tokyo during the time of recovery after the war. Regardless of the children’s young age, in their regal appearance in these photographs the viewer even senses something like the dignity of a human individual. A large number of such photographs are contained in Ishimoto’s first photo book, Someday, Somewhere (published 1958), and in this exhibition those lovely children appear again, divided into two parts dedicated to the (former) Chicago and the (latter) Tokyo years.