Masao Yamamoto (b. 1957) is an outstanding contemporary photographer. He is famous for a subtle style of black and white photography like "visual haiku", a narrative about the world around him. His works take pride of place in the finest private collections and galleries, including the International Center for Photography in New York, the European House of Photography in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Yamamoto grew up in the Japanese city of Gamagori, situated on the Pacific coast sand surrounded by mountains. The beauty of nature became the main theme of his work. He started his experiments in art with painting, but soon he discovered photography, and it became for him a synthesis of poetry, painting and the philosophical tradition.
In Yamamoto's photographs the mundane turns into the eternal. His works are characterized by asceticism, meditative silence, modesty and the ability to convey a vision of emptiness. The photographer uses the technique of silver–gelatin printing, manually ages and softly tones the pictures, trying to emphasize the fragility and transience of the created image. It captures the harmonious details of life, imperceptible to most.
“I am inspired by the beautiful events and phenomena in this world which I experienced by accident, and I photograph them to make them into works of art. I think I do this from my desire to make them my own. I want to show them to people, just as one would show off their collection of insect specimens to others,” says the artist.