Ayaka Yamamoto “Nous n’irons plus au bois”

Dates: Jan 11 – Feb 8, 2014
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film (AXIS Bldg, Roppongi)
Opening reception: Saturday, Jan 11, 18:00 – 20:00

Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film is pleased to present “Nous n’irons plus au bois,” Ayaka Yamamoto’s first solo exhibition in Tokyo. This exhibition, which runs from January 11 to February 8, 2014, will comprise about 10 portraits taken between 2009 and 2013 in various places around Europe.

I want to be completely enchanted and swayed by the single sheet of skin that covers living beings. When the transmission of thought through words breaks off, I melt her name with the sensation of my entire body. As a sound which does not reach words flows out, slowly, the impossible-to-translate image of a female figure rises up.

 Ayaka Yamamoto

Ayaka Yamamoto was born in 1983 in Kobe, where she lives and works today. She began studying painting in college, but she gradually moved towards performance and video art, both of which she produced using her body. In 2004, while studying abroad in San Francisco, she started taking photographs. In the middle of a situation in which communication through words was difficult, photography took on a value beyond its essential nature, serving as a point of contact with many other people. Since then, Yamamoto has continued to take extremely fascinating portraits which generate an unusual atmosphere. Yamamoto describes the settings of these portraits in the following way: “I choose to photograph places that I cannot imagine, even from the images that have accumulated under my eyelids, and where the languages and things I already know have no value.” In 2009, she traveled to Finland and Estonia, and later went to Estonia (2010), Latvia (2011, 2012) and France (2012, 2013) to realize her works.

Yamamoto prepares all of the outfits for her shooting only after she arrives at her destination. Since all of her photographs are made with natural light, Yamamoto always picks locations outside of major cities. Her subjects and settings are also selected entirely on location, through communication with the people who live there. Rather than communicating with words, Yamamoto uses gestures and sounds to pick settings and outfits together with her subjects. Certainly, by taking a photograph of a person without their normal clothes, the photographs take on something of a timeless, stateless air. After going through so many steps of the shooting process together, though, it would be difficult to say precisely to whom these images belong. The nameless subjects existing in these photographs cannot easily become the property of the audience, much less the photographer: they resist such direct connections. Through this unstable relationship, Yamamoto richly awakens the possibilities of photography.

Exhibition catalogue details
Nous n’irons plus au bois
Published by Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film
Publish date: January 11, 2014, Softcover: 40 pages, 15 images, Size: H20 x W21 cm
Retail price: ¥2,100 (tax included)

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