Ayaka Yamamoto

<'I want to be completely enchanted and swayed by the single sheet of skin that covers living beings. When the transmission of thought through words breaks off, I melt her name with the sensation of my entire body. As a sound which does not reach words flows out, slowly, the impossible-to-translate image of a female figure rises up.'– Ayaka Yamamoto

Ayaka Yamamoto was born in 1983 in Kobe, where she lives and works today. She began studying painting in college, but she gradually moved towards performance and video art, both of which she produced using her body. In 2004, while studying abroad in San Francisco, she started taking photographs. In 2012 she won the Co-Grand Prize of Portfolio Audition from Higashikawa Photo Festival and in 2006 the Honorable Mention from New Cosmos of Photography, selected by Nobuyoshi Araki. Her works where shown in several group exhibitions for e.g. at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2006, Higashikawa International Photo Festival, Hokkaido, 2011, Gothe Insitute, Riga, 2012 and at Taka Ishii Gallery, 2013.

Yamamoto prepares all of the outfits for her shooting only after she arrives at her destination. Since all of her photographs are made with natural light, Yamamoto always picks locations outside of major cities. Her subjects and settings are also selected entirely on location, through communication with the people who live there. Rather than communicating with words, Yamamoto uses gestures and sounds to pick settings and outfits together with her subjects. Certainly, by taking a photograph of a person without their normal clothes, the photographs take on something of a timeless, stateless air. After going through so many steps of the shooting process together, though, it would be difficult to say precisely to whom these images belong. The nameless subjects existing in these photographs cannot easily become the property of the audience, much less the photographer: they resist such direct connections. Through this unstable relationship, Yamamoto richly awakens the possibilities of photography.

Selected solo exhibitions


"Nous n'irons plus au bois" CAP STUDIO Y3, Kobe, Japan

Selected group exhibitions


Inaugural Exhibition "Japanese Photography: postwar-present" Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film, Tokyo, Japan


"Encounters of Young International Photography" Moulin du Roc, Niort, France 2013

"Exhibition of Higashikawa Portfolio Audition Winners"

Yokohama Photo Festival, Kanagawa, Japan 2012 "No Found Photo Fair" Paris, France 2012 "TOKYO PHOTO" Midtown Hall, Tokyo, Japan

2011 "Gala Exhibition" Goethe Institute, Riga, Latvia

2012 "ISSP FINAL Exhibition" Kuldiga, Latvia


"tri-angle" Kimura Corporation, Osaka, Japan "Higashikawa International Photo Festival Independent Exhibition” Hokkaido, Japan 2010 "Beyond the Image" Gallery Fleur, Kyoto, Japan 2007 "New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition


ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka, Japan

“New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan


“Meno Mae O Kiku” Gallery FLEUR, Kyoto, Japan 2004 “California College of the Arts Student Show” East Galleries, San Francisco, USA


2012 Co-Grand Prize of Portfolio Audition from Higashikawa Photo Festival 2006 Honorable Mention from New Cosmos of Photography, selected by Nobuyoshi ARAKI