During his long career, Masao Yamamoto has created works that carefully pick up familiar animals, plants, landscapes, and other small things that are likely to be overlooked. The photos have been brewed into beauty with delicate breathing and a sense of tension by a superlative monochrome technique.
This Bonsai - Microcosms Macrocosms is a series of pictures of bonsai which can be said to be the traditional beauty of Japan. It is a picture of the bonsai which lives only by human hands and water in a small pot in the majestic scenery of Mt. Yatsugatake area and the foot of Mt. Fuji.
The Japanese title of this work “手中一滴(Shuchu Itteki)” is a coined word by Yamamoto, based on the teachings of Zen Buddhism, "A drop of dew dwells in the universe". Both Yamamoto's photos and bonsai were created as if squeezed out of people's hands as they faced nature. There is a world where people, works and nature pursue the ultimate beauty. Then, he expressed the essence of a world in which a large universe was condensed into a small universe symbolized by a small bonsai in his own words, “手中一滴”.
This book is bound one by one in a Japanese binding style by the craftsmen of the bookbinding office Hakushowdo, and are placed in a special sleeve case.
In order to create this work Bonsai by Yamamoto that represents the Japanese tradition of bonsai through modern photography, we used modern materials and techniques together with traditional bookbinding techniques in Japan.
Yamamoto Masao (born 1957) trained as an oil painter before turning to photography. His portraits, landscapes and still lifes are silver prints that are delicately toned and sometimes overpainted/dyed. Among his previous publications are Small Things in Silence (RM/Seigensha, 2015), and Tori(Radius, 2017). He has his first solo museum show in Japan at Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, 2019.