Influences: Japanese Photographers

This is an entry from an ancient (2009) blog but I was pleased to rediscover the work of these excellent Japanese photographers.

A few weeks ago I mentioned doing a weekly investigation of a photo artist to broaden my horizons. Today, I can report on two such
artists, both very famous Japanese photographers, Masao Yamamoto and Hiroshi Sugimoto. I came across Yamamoto checking out some of the photo gallery shows coming up in Tucson. He was part of an upcoming show co-featuring one of my old professors, Carol Panaro Smith, and I found his minimalist approach very appealing in the same way sumi-e or haiku satisfies in their elegant nothingness. You find this a lot in Japanese art and not so much in Western art, especially modern US photography, which seems to be more focused on information overload.

Here is one of my favorite images from Masao Yamamoto:


 is someone whose work I had seen before–exposures of a movie theatre, taken over the period of the entire movie. I didn’t put the name to the work, but while looking at Masao Yamamoto’s site I saw images of seascapes reminiscent of the album cover of U2’s No Line on the Horizon. That cover was actually a Sugimoto image, representative of his recurring theme of photographing time via really long exposures.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

One thought on “Influences: Japanese Photographers”

  1. I find the minimalism to be very inspiring and shaping. Elegant and in total contrast to the flashy presentation that is sought after today – it’s proving to be quite the challenge to picture less, yet not relinquish meaning and visual attraction.

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