©Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
“Chicago, Chicago”, a group of well-known photographs of Chicago by Yasuhiro Ishimoto, was photographed in three different periods. The first period was while he was a student of the Institute of Design in Chicago, 1948-1952. The second period was in between 1958 to 1961 when he was staying in Chicago. And, the third period was in 1982 on the short photography trip. The eye of Mr. Ishimoto looking at people and city is unchanged by time, with keen sense of image and design he photographed “Chicago.” These works are the universal expression beyond record of time.
There was another group of “Chicago” photographs by Mr. Ishimoto. It was in October 1966 that he photographed lots of buildings in Chicago only in one-week. Those photographs are prospect of the city of Chicago, which was representative modern city of the U.S. in 1966. They were in fact originally photographed for “the special feature of Chicago” for February Issue 1967 of Japanese monthly magazine SD (Space Design). It was planned and edited primarily intended to study potential of formation as well as structure of the city of Chicago, by learning culture and history of Chicago through architectural structure. In the special feature, there were texts by experts about cultural history of Chicago in the 19th – 20th century with essentially photographs by Mr. Ishimoto.
Although it was only 7 days that Mr. Ishimoto was able to spend to photograph, he took 97 rolls of 35mm films and more than 500 images were printed. Some 140 images from them appeared in the magazine. These photographs of architectural structure were vividly photographed from which we can feel Mr. Ishimoto’s keen interests.
Around 70 images including vintage prints are selected for the exhibition “Chicago 1966.” They are not editorially cropped, and are exhibited to the public for the first time. Through the exhibition we are able to rediscover “Chicago” captured by Mr. Ishimoto, and will find contact point between Mr. Ishimoto and architecture.
Born in San Francisco in 1921. Studied photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago?(commonly known as New Bauhaus) 1948-52. Became a Japanese citizen in 1969, ever since he lives in Japan. In 1996, he was named as a Man of Cultural Distinction by the Japanese government. He is representative photographer of Japan, well known for the excellent photographs of people and city of “Chicago” and “Tokyo”, as well as “Katsura”, “Mandalas of the Two World”, “Ise Shrine”, etc. Most recent publication “Moment” (published in 2004) is remarkable. He had one-person exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (U.S.A.), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, (Tokyo), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Tokyo), The Museum of Art, Kochi (Kochi), etc.