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11 - 14 April

Yamamoto Masao - Small things in silence

22-25 September
ExpoGeorgia, 6th Hall
118 Tsereteli Avenue


Small things in silence

Curated by Fernando Peracho and Eric Schlosser.

Tbilisi Art Fair and Valid Foto BCN Gallery are proud to present to you an exhibition by photographer Yamamoto Masao, Small things in Silence

The works on display are from four different series A box of KU, Nakazora, Kawa and from his latest project La vie Simple, exhibited for the fist time.

About the exhibition Small things in Silence 

Yamamoto Masao is known for his small silver gelatin prints that seek to individualise the photograph as a singular, precious object. His early series A Box of Ku and Nakazora are comprised of photographs meant to be handled and manipulated, with gold flecked surfaces and slight creases both evincing the life of the piece and making each iteration distinct from the next. Often described as "visual haikus," these photographs can be displayed as a collection of harmonious objects or stand alone as individually powerful objects, their subjects at once minimal and spare and suggestive of a surreal and transcendent tone. 

Our exhibition includes an installation of new and classic work from A Box of Ku and Nakazora, as well as a selection of new work from Kawa=Flow and his latest project La Vie Simple

In the Artist’s Own Words 

About A Box of Ku

Vast landscapes, societies, countries and space are all made from smaller parts. These small things not only exist as elements that make up the whole; they each have their own story, as everyone has their own life. Under the rock there are thousands of baby ants being born, caterpillars eating leaves, birds that are attacked by cats — small events are taking place in the continuous flow of time. Searching for beauty within these easily overlooked small events. 

About Nakazora

It represents a broader space than the series A Box of Ku. The space between sky and earth, the place where birds fly. Empty air. . . An internal hollowness. Vague. Hollow. Around the centre of the sky. Emptiness. A state when feet do not touch the ground. Inattentiveness. The inability to decide between two things. Midway. The centre of the sky (the zenith). A Buddhist term. 

About Kawa (Flow)

This series is about the “Kawa”(river) that separates life and the afterlife. There are some who see a river merely as a border, with two sides, but I focus on its creation. Rainfall filtered by mountains emerge as spring water, first forming rivulets, then streams, and finally rivers. This natural creative process reminds me of the river of life — the flow of numerous events in life that occur between life and death. I hope to express this flow of life through this serie. 

About La Vie Simple: Unpublished work with photographs taken in France. The simple life. It will be shown for the first time at an Art Fair. 


Masao Yamamoto was born in Gamagōri, Japan, in 1957. He studied painting, choosing photography as his primary media around 1980. In his photographs, the artist engages viewers through a concentrated presentation of his subjects, which are most often animals or elements of the natural world. He is particularly drawn to small objects that are often overlooked. In early works, he emphasised the material qualities of the photographs through the application of paint, and deliberate signs of wear such as folds, stains, scratches and frayed corners. In later works, he used specialised darkroom techniques to explore ideas of temporality, and to create poetic effects.

Yamamoto had over 100 solo exhibitions. His works have been exhibited at numerous international institutions, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the George Eastman House, Rochester; the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris; the Galerie de Moderne, Munich; the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Rome; the Galeria d’Arte Moderna di Bologna. Yamamoto’s photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the International Center of Photography, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Sir Elton John Collection, among others. 

His monographs include Tori (Radius Books, 2016); Fujsan (Nazraeli Press, 2008); é (Nazraeli Press, 2005); Omizuao (Nazraeli Press, 2003); Nakazora (Nazraeli Press, 2001); and A Box of Ku (Nazraeli Press, 1998), Poems of Santoka (Galerie Vevais, 2016), KAWA=Flow (Kochuten Books, 2011), YAMAMOTO MASAO (21st Editions, 2011), Fujisan (Nazraeli Press, 2008), é (Nazraeli Press, 2005), Omizuao (Nazraeli Press, 2003), Santoka (Harunatsuakifuyu Sousho, Japan, 2003), The Path of Green Leaves (Nazraeli Press, 2002) and A Box of Ku (Nazraeli Press, 1998).