The Japanese artist Yamamoto Masao first studied oil painting, before he discovered photography as his ideal medium due to its particular capacity to evoke memory. Yamamoto is known for his small-format silver gelatin prints, which he reworks through tinting, painting over them, or other manual interventions to the point that they take on the character od objects carrying reminiscences of the past. As diverse as his motifs are, his images are expressions of an attitude of humility, as propagated by the Chinese philosopher Laozi, who considered humanity as only one small part of nature, which in turn is merely a miniscule part of an immense universe. By observing all the minute things around him, Yamamoto finds a key for accessing the all-encompassing nature of the universe that he captures on photographic paper.
For the exhibition at the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation, Yamamoto has created a wall installation that inconspicuously integrates selected works by Alfred Ehrhardt. Particularlymeaningful to Yamamoto is Ehrhardt’s “constructive and structural eye for the beauty ofnature, which archives the artistic forms of nature.” Yamamoto’s work demonstrates afundamental correspondence between Ehrhardt’s worldview as characterized by naturalphilosophy and his own, Japanese perspective on nature.
In addition, Yamamoto presents photographs from his series Shizuka (= cleansed, pure, or immaculate), which shows things that he found in the woods surrounding his home, andwhich like “precious jewels carry the peaceful breath of nature within.” In his Bonsai series, Yamamoto continues in direct fashion the 100 or even 200 years of dialogue that has existed between bonsai trees and bonsai masters. This body of work reflects both the enigmatic qualities of a miniaturized, compact universe that can essentially be held one’s hands and the mystery of the universe generally, whose immensity overwhelms man’s senses.
September 16, 2018, 2 pm:
Artist Talk: Dr. Madoka Yuki with Yamamoto Masao (German / Japanese)
October 17, 2018, 7 pm:
Buchvorstellung von Dr. Roland Jaeger: „Foto-Auge Fritz Block. Vom Fotonachlass zumFotobuch“ (German)
November 18, 2018, 2 pm:
In the series “Literaturhaus der Fotografie”: Ein Sternbild der Philosophie. Wolfram Eilenbergers „Zeit der Zauberer“, vorgestellt in Yamamoto Masaos „Microcosm Macrocosm“. Moderation: Thomas Böhm (radioeins: Die Literaturagenten) (German)