Michio Yamauchi “Tokyo”

Dates: Oct 29 – Nov 26, 2016
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film
Opening reception: Saturday, Oct 29, 18:00 – 20:00

Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film is pleased to present “Tokyo”, a solo exhibition by Michio Yamauchi, from October 29 to November 26. Studied under Daido Moriyama, Yamauchi began his career in the early 1980s. As a freelance photographer, he has consistently captured the times and its city and people. This exhibition will feature approximately 22 works comprising early black and white and recent color snapshots all shot in Tokyo, where Yamauchi has been living and working since the very beginning of his career.

From the infinitely continuous and endlessly overlapping moments I encounter, I capture singular moments to which I have a physical (and cellular) response. By photographing concrete things, I may be trying to understand nature and reality, which I cannot comprehend despite giving them thought, and myself, which is a part of them.

Michio Yamauchi ‘Postscript’, HONG KONG 1995-1997, shashasha, 2015, n.p.

To make his photographs, Yamauchi sniffs out core neighborhoods of the cities he shoots, and walks its streets incessantly. His nimble footwork allows him to point his camera at and shoot cities and the people traveling to and from within them as if he were directly capturing his physical responses to fragments of reality. His images captured through this tireless taking of “physical risks in encounters with others”.

As Yamauchi states, “Fundamentally, people are hopelessly the same.” The people he captures appear differently terms of dress, facial expression, and urban atmosphere depending on when and where he shoots them, but their gazes and gestures share similarities that transgress historical moments, nationalities and geography. Yamauchi has continuously shot these “human archetypes”, in other words, appearances that manifest internal emotions and forms that are universally shared by humans, on one hand, and the urban places that are cultivated by humans and in turn cultivate humans, on the other. The resulting body of work is also attractive as a documentation of people’s memories and cities’ histories.

One unique characteristic of photography is that it allows you to look at an old photograph and sense history–to be certain that such a time existed in the past. When the people and the light in the photographs are revitalized as if they have traveled through time, and I feel like the air of the times had come back to life, I sometimes feel physically excited. All kinds of thoughts arise and all I can do is stare at the image.

Michio Yamauchi ‘Postscript’, TOKYO 2005-2007, Sokyusha, 2008, n.p.

Since the early 1990s, Yamauchi has shot various Asian cities in addition to Tokyo. The images of Tokyo, which has shot since the 1980s, however, constitute his origin and life’s work. This exhibition, which mixes new and old works shot in Tokyo, will serve to introduce Yamauchi’s powerfully intense street snapshots, which he makes by sharpening his visual perception of the real world and devoting his life to the medium.

An exhibition commemorating Yamauchi’s reception of the 35th Domon Ken Award will also be on from October 8 to December 25.

【Concurrent exhibition】
“The 35th Domon Ken Award award winning exhibition Michio Yamauchi “DHAKA 2””
Dates: Oct 8 – Dec 25, 2016
Location: Ken Domon Museum of Photography
2-13, Imoriyama, Sakata-shi, Yamagata 998-0055 tel/fax: 0234-31-0028

Michio Yamauchi was born in 1950 in Aichi Prefecture. He graduated from the Second Literary Department (no longer extant) of Waseda University. In 1980, he started night school at the Tokyo School of Photography (currently Tokyo Visual Arts School). In 1982, he graduated from the Tokyo School of Photography and took part in an independent gallery known as Image Shop CAMP, and began showing photographs in photography magazines and independent galleries. Since 1992, he has shot not only in Tokyo, but also in other major Asian cities including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dhaka. His major solo exhibitions include “Hong Kong 1995-1997” at ZEN FOTO GALLERY (Tokyo, 2016), “Tokyo 2009.12.” at Third District Gallery (Tokyo, 2010), “CALCUTTA” at Konica Minolta Photo Plaza (Tokyo, 2004), “TOKYO, Tokyo” at Ginza Nikon Salon (Tokyo, 2002) and “Tokyo 1983.2.-1986.2.” at Olympus Gallery (Tokyo, 1986). His major publications include Keelung (grafica, 2010), TOKYO 2005-2007 (Sokyusha, 2008), Stadt (Sokyusha, 1992) and Hito-e (Place M, 1992). His major awards include the 35th Domon Ken Award (for Dhaka 2, fiscal 2015) and the 20th Tadahiko Hayashi Award (for Keelung, 2011). His photographs are included in the collections of The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo and Shunan City Museum of Art and History, Yamaguchi.

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