Kiyoshi Yagi


Jul 1 - Aug 27, 2011
Photo Gallery International

Kiyoshi Yagi


Jul 1 - Aug 27, 2011
Photo Gallery International

  • ©Kiyoshi Yagi

Photo Gallery International presents an exhibition of Kiyoshi Yagi in conjunction with the publication of book “sila.”


“sila”, the title of exhibition, is the Inuit word that is defined variously. It means “something outward” such as “outside, air, atmosphere, universe, etc.”, also “intellect” or “wisdom.” In addition, it means the name of spirit of the atmosphere. Environment, weather, and all life are based upon the concept of “sila.” “sila” is, not just the word, used by Inuit people.


Under the harsh natural environment, Inuit people work by adapting themselves to weather, and live benefiting from nature. Acting under the change of weather condition beyond all imagination, they subsist on other life by hunting. The life of people generates a feeling of awe and fear to nature. For this reason the concept of “sila” grows.


Yagi, who travels to far north region to photograph more than 15 years, mentions, “’sila’ sounds like the wind bravely blowing through tundra.” In his trips, he feels “sila” itself. He is aware of the existence of “sila” and always faces to the nature of polar region.


In the photographing trip, Yagi has been living together with people of Eskimo, Aleut, and Inuit, going hunting and eating. Therefore, there are tranquil eyes of respect between photographer and subject in his photograph. Traditional hunting tools photographed by him show a sense of existence as if we can feel weight of tools, and are shining beautifully and dull on the two-dimensional photographic paper. Yagi mentions, “The nature of polar region has a strong presence, aloof from concept such as impermanence or asperity.” The landscape captured by Yagi shows the firm rule of nature, also the tenderness and asperity to what all life. Photographs of family portraits and people’s life show diversified tribes by new blood, in addition, the portraits of individual people shows their behavior coexisting with nature. Yagi makes the photographic prints by platinum-palladium printing process. The quality of platinum-palladium prints perfectly shows the rock surface with history and surface of animal skin, also reproduce people’s warm but stern facial expression in the harsh natural environment.


Around 30 platinum-palladium prints are shown at the exhibition.

book_cover silacKiyoshi Yagi “sila”


Photo Gallery International, July 1, 2011

Price : 16,800yen

Limited to 400 copies



Related Exhibition:

“Great Spirit : Great Spirit : Photographs of Curtis, Sardar-Afkhami, YAGI 

July 6 (Wed) - October 10 (Mon), 2011

Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts


Kiyoshi Yagi

Born in Nagano, Japan in 1968. After graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in journalism, he studied under Takeshi Mizukoshi, a Japanese nature photographer. He has been traveling to arctic regions to photograph indigenous peoples, the Eskimo and the Aleut as well as the nature surrounding them with a large format camera since 1994. He produces his prints using platinum paper. He was the recipient of the Photographic Society of Japan, Newcomer’s Award in 2004 and the Tabuchi Yukio Award 2nd prize in 2005. He published his first book sila in 2011.



Exhibitions at PGI

Silat Naalagaq, 2015
sila, 2011
Across the Arctic 1994-2007, 2007
Portrait of the Eskimo and the Aleut, 2006