©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
In his 55 years carrier, faces photographer Yashuhiro Ishimoto has depicted through the lens diverse.
He focused on faces of children enjoying Halloween and faces of people on the street in one of his representative works “Someday, Somewhere”, 1948-52, and also in “Chicago, Chicago”, 1958-1961. As the same way people rambling on Tokyo streets attracted him, and the photographs of their faces later appeared in magazines under the title of “Tokyo’ s Eyes”, 1954; “Face of Tokyo”, 1963 ; and “Street Corners, Shinjyuku”, 1965.
Portraiture of emerging artists, and actors presented with a skillful angle of approach in the latter half of 1960’s show their striking individuality.
As an ideal face of man, ancient Buddhists images of Heian period, about 800 – 1100, have been reproduced vividly in “Mandala of the Two Worlds at Kyoo Gokoku-ji”, photographed in 1973, and “The Eleven – Faced Goddess of Mercy of Kokoku”, 1980.
In the recent work “Flow”, 1997 – 2001, Ishimoto, avoiding intentionally the individual face of people, takes the flow of crowds drifting in downtown Tokyo. He continued releasing the shutter without checking through the view finder, as if he had been going against the current of people. Their vacant look may appear symbolic of the face of our generations in the new century.
The gallery exhibits more than 200 photographs of faces selected from Yashuhiro Ishimoto’s prints, from his study works in 1948 to current works, amounting to several thousand. Faces of children, faces of people strolling on Chicago and Tokyo streets in the 50’s and 60’s, contrast with the images of people captured in his recent works. Vivid and powerful faces of artists active in the late 60’s are shown parallel to the tender features of ancient Buddhist images.