Kansuke Yamamoto (artist)

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Kansuke Yamamoto
(山本 悍右)
KansukeYamamotoPicture.jpg
Born 山本 勘助(Kansuke Yamamoto)
(1914-03-30)March 30, 1914
Nagoya, Japan
Died April 2, 1987(1987-04-02) (aged 73)
Nagoya, Japan
Nationality Japan
Known for Photographer, poet
Movement Surrealism
In this Japanese name, the family name is Yamamoto.

Kansuke Yamamoto (山本 悍右 Yamamoto Kansuke?, 30 March 1914 – 2 April 1987) was a photographer and poet. He was a prominent Japanese surrealist born in Nagoya, Japan.

Biography[edit]

Birth[edit]

He was born in Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. He was the oldest son of Goro Yamamoto (1880–1941), who was the founding member of Aiyu Photography Club. Goro was running a photo studio and a shop selling cameras in Nagoya.

Encounter with Surrealism[edit]

"Dokuritsu(Independent)"January 1932
Published by Independent Photography Research Association
Cover photo by Kansuke Yamamoto

He encountered surrealism and dadaism through the poetry magazine "cine´" published by Yamanaka Chiruu who was promoting surrealism in Japan. At the age of 15, he started to write poems. He graduated from the Nagoya Second Commercial School in 1929. That year, he started writing poetry. He left Meiji University School of Arts and letters in Tokyo, where he majored in French Literature before graduation and then went back to Nagoya. In 1931, at the age of 17, he published his works in the Journal "Dokuritsu(Independent)", which was published by "Dokuritsu Shashin Kenkyu Kai(Independent Photography Research Association)".

Kansuke Yamamoto as a Surrealist[edit]

"The Night's Fountain" Vol.1
November 1, 1938
Edited and published by:Kansuke Yamamoto
Photo by Kansuke Yamamoto
"VOU" Vol.30 1940
Cover photo by Kansuke Yamamoto

The oldest of his existing works is called "Aru Ningen no Shisou no Hatten・・・Moya to Shinshitsu(The Developing Thought of a Human...Mist and Bedroom)", which was published in a magazine in 1932. In 1936, he changed his Chinese characters from 勘助(Kansuke) to 悍右(Kansuke). In 1938, he started a surrealist poetry magazine called "Yoru no Funsui(The Night's Fountain)". But the next year, the publication was forced to be discontinued by the authoritative pressure due to the Peace Preservation Law.

In 1939, he formed a group called "Nagoya Photo Avant-Garde" with Tajima Tsugio, Minoru Sakata, Shimozato Yoshio, and Yamanaka Chiruu, etc. The group applied surrealism into their photographs and their avant-garde photography gathered national attention by some magazines like "Photo Times" and "Camera Art". He became a member of "VOU" in 1939, belonging until it was dissolved in 1972. He also formed "VIVI" (1948–1950), "Bijyutsu Bunka Association, Division of Photography" (1949–1954), "Mado(Windows)"(1953–1958), "Honoo (Flame)" (1955–1961), "Subjective Photography Federation of Japan" (1956), "ESPACE" (1956–1958), "Arukishine" (1958), "Avant-Garde Association of Poets" (1958) and "Nagoya Five" (1963–1964).

He often created works which indicated liberty, antiwar and anti-government in surrealistic ways.

Later life[edit]

From around 1965 to 1975, he coached the younger generation as an adviser of Chubu Photography Federation of Students.

He also donated his body to science via Nagoya University School of Medicine upon his death and no funeral was held, in accordance with his living will.

Works[edit]

Exhibitions[edit]

André Breton presented the inscribed copy of "BIEF"(N.5. 1959) to Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • 1936 Personal Exhibition / Maruzen Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1939 "The Blue Wonder Association Exhibition" / Maruzen Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1948 - 1950 "VIVI" / Maruzen Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1949 "Modern Art" / Mitsukoshi Gallery, Nihonbashi, Japan
  • 1949 - 1954 “Bijyutsu Bunka Art Association Exhibition" / Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum etc.
  • 1952 "Photographers of Figurative art" / Aoyanagi-Hirokoji-Ten, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1953 "Mado(Windows)" / Nagoya, Kobe, Japan
  • 1953 "Abstraction and Fantasy: How to Understand Non-figurative (Non-realistic) Painting" / National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
  • 1956 - 1961 "Honoo(Flame)" / Konica Gallery(Konica Minolta Plaza), Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, Japan
  • 1956 "International Subjective Photography" / Takashimaya Gallery, Nihonbashi, Japan
  • 1956 Personal Exhibition / Matsushima Gallery, Ginza, Japan
  • 1956 Personal Exhibition / Maruzen Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1957 Personal Exhibition / Konica Gallery(Konica Minolta Plaza), Fukuoka, Japan
  • 1957 - 1976 "VOU Exhibition" / Kunugi Gallery, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan etc.
  • 1957 "Modern Art Photography Group" / Kunugi Gallery, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1958 "ESPACE" / Maruzen Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1958 "Exhibition of Japan Subjective Photography" / Fuji Photo Salon(FUJIFILM Photo Salon), Tokyo, Japan
  • 1958 "The Vanguard of Photography and Poetry" / Mimatsu Publishing, Inc. Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1960 "The Sense of Abstraction" / The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, U.S.A.
  • 1960 "Subjective Photography" / Konica Gallery(Konica Minolta Plaza), Tokyo, Japan
  • 1963 "Shusen Kai"
  • 1963 - 1964 "Nagoya Five" / Fuji Photo Salon(FUJIFILM Photo Salon), Tokyo, etc.
  • 1968 "VERB" / Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
  • 1978 - 1982 "The Exhibition of The Committee of The Chubu Headquarter of The All-Japan Association of Photographic Societies" / Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
  • 1983 "Pictures of Yamamoto Kansuke" / New French School, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1986 "Avant-Garde Photography, Italy and Japan / The Contemporary Art Gallery, Seibu Department Stores, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1986 "VOU" / Rhode Island School of Design Museum
  • 1988 "The Art of Modern Japanese Photography" / Two Houston Center
  • 1988 "Surrealist Kansuke Yamamoto Exhibition" / IMAGINATION MARKET Q&P, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1988 "The 150 years of Fine Art Photography — France, Japan, America" / Tsukashin Hall, Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan
  • 1988 "Fine Art Photography in Japan 1920's - 1940's" / Konica Plaza(Konica Minolta Plaza), Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1988 "Japanese Photography in 1930s" / The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, Japan
  • 1989 "Avant-Garde Photography of Nagoya" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan
  • 1990 "The Silent Dialogue: Still Life in the West and Japan" / Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
  • 1990 "Surrealism in Japan" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan
  • 1990 "Modernism in Nagoya 1920's - 1930's" / INAX Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1995 "The Founding and Development of Modern Photography in Japan" / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
  • 1995 "The Age of Modernism" / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
  • 1995 "Collage, A Method of Contemporary Art" / Nerima Art Museum, Japan
  • 2001 "Modern Photography in Japan 1915-1940" / Ansel Adams Gallery, San Francisco, U.S.A.
  • 2001 "Yamamoto Kansuke: Conveyor of the Impossible" / Tokyo Station Gallery, Japan[3]
  • 2003 "The History of Japanese Photography" / The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston etc.
  • 2004 "Provincial Fine Arts" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Aichi, Japan
  • 2005 "How Photography changed People's Viewpoints" / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
  • 2006 "Curators' Choice from The Collection of Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography" / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
  • 2006 "Collage and Photomontage" / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
  • 2006 "The World of Yamamoto Kansuke" / Doshisha University, Tokyo office 
  • 2007 "The New Modern: Pre- and Post-War Japanese Photography" / Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.[4][5]
  • 2007 "Master the Museum’s Collection" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan
  • 2007 "Living in the Material World -'Things' in Art of the 20th Century and Beyond" / The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2008 "Surrealism and Photography" / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
  • 2009 "20 Years of Nagoya City Art Museum" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan
  • 2010 "World of Surrealism by the Collection" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan
  • 2012 "Drawing Surrealism" / Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, U.S.A.[6]
  • 2012 "Japan ・ Object 1920's - 70's" / Saitama, Japan
  • 2013 "Drawing Surrealism" / The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, U.S.A.[7]
  • 2013 "Japan's Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto" / The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, U.S.A.[8][9]
  • 2014 "Enjoy the Art World −with your loved one" / Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan

Solo exhibition catalogues[edit]

  • ”YAMAMOTO Kansuke : Conveyor of the Impossible", John Solt and Kaneko Ryuichi, East Japan Railway Culture Foundation, 2001
  • Japan's Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto (2013); Edited by Judith Keller & Amanda Maddox, with contributions by Kotaro Iizawa, Ryuichi Kaneko, Jonathan Reynolds; published by The J. Paul Getty Museum

Books by Kansuke Yamamoto[edit]

"Butterfly" 1970
Author: Kansuke Yamamoto
  • Kansuke Yamamoto, “Yoruno Funsui”, 1938-
  • Kansuke Yamamoto, ”Batafurai (Butterfly)", Nagoya Miniature Books Publishing, 1970

Selected works[edit]

  • The Developing Thought of a Human... Mist and Bedroom, 1932, Kansuke Yamamoto, collage, and gelatin silver print. Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum.
  • Title unknown, 1933, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 25.2 × 30.0 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Title unknown, 1938, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 18.7 × 24.5 cm. Collection of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck.
  • Title unknown, 1938, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 15.9 × 24.6 cm. Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum.
  • Title unknown, 1939, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 24.4 × 29.6 cm.
  • Untitled, ca. 1930s, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 43.8 × 36.2 cm. Collection of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.
  • Buddhist Temple’s Birdcage, 1940, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 25.7 × 17.9 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Variation of “Buddhist Temple’s Birdcage”, 1940, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 30.2 × 24.8 cm. Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum.
  • Self-Portrait, 1940, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 46. × 56.4 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Title unknown, ca. 1940s, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 25.2 × 17.7 cm.
  • View with a Ship Passing Through, 1941, Kansuke Yamamoto, Collage, 24.5 × 30.3 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Stapled Flesh, 1949, Kansuke Yamamoto, gelatin silver print, 31.1 × 24.8 cm. Collection of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck.
  • A Chronicle of Drifting, 1949, Kansuke Yamamoto, Collage, 30 × 24.8 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Self-Portrait, 1949, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 25.2 × 17.9 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Scenery with Ocean, 1949, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 27.0 × 18.4 cm.
  • Dream Passage, 1949, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 30.0 × 24.9 cm.
  • Floating City, 1950, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gollage, 15.7 × 22.4 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Isamu Noguchi, 1950, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 23.4 × 18.2 cm.
  • Gorgeous Departure, 1950, Kansuke Yamamoto, 27.8 × 22.7 cm.
  • Reminiscence, 1953, Kansuke Yamamoto, gelatin silver print. Collection of Anne and David Ruderman.
  • Relaxation Season, 1953, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 27.5 × 22.9 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Sleepy Sea, 1953, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 27.6 × 31.0 cm.. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Giving Birth to a Joke, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 42.5 × 55.6 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Rose and Shovel, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 31.9 × 34.9 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • The Distance between the Landscape and the Dusk, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Chromogenic print, 31.9 × 34.9 cm.
  • My Thin-Aired Room, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 34.9 × 42.9 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • My Thin-Aired Room, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 35.2 × 42.2 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • My Thin-Aired Room, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 35.4 × 43 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • My Thin-Aired Room, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 35.2 × 42.9 cm. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • The Man Who Went Too Far, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • Cold Person, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 43.8 × 36.2 cm. Collection of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck.
  • From the series of “Obaku”, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • The Origin of History, 1956, Kansuke Yamamoto, Chromogenic print, 52.5 × 47.8 cm.
  • The Closed Room, 1958, Kansuke Yamamoto, Gelatin silver print, 35.9 × 45.0 cm.
  • A Forgotten Person, 1958, Kansuke Yamamoto, Chromogenic Print, 46.2 × 33.0 cm. Collection of J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • (The hard, cobalt desert...), 1958, Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • My Bench, 1963, Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • I’d Like to Think While in the Body of a Horse, 1964, Kansuke Yamamoto, Chromogenic Print, 46.2 × 33.0 cm. Collection of J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • Suddenly in the Morning, 1958, Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • Magnifying Glass, Rendezvous, 1970, Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • Butterfly, 1970, Kansuke Yamamoto. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
  • The silver platter and the pigeon in the cage, / We suddenly have spring rain like typefaces today. / Cioran, / I may talk to you again someday, 1979, Kansuke Yamamoto.
  • Under rose flowers of exploding black gunpowder / Girl flutters her braided hair running to the plaza / Dawn laughs out loud swaying its shoulders, 1983, Kansuke Yamamoto. Private collection, entrusted to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

Bibliography[edit]

Exhibition catalogues[edit]

  • "The Founding and Development of Modern Photography in Japan”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 1995
  • "Surrealism in Japan”, Nagoya City Art Museum, 1990
  • "Avant-Garde Photography of Nagoya”, Nagoya City Art Museum, 1989
  • ”YAMAMOTO Kansuke : Conveyor of the Impossible", John Solt and Kaneko Ryuichi, East Japan Railway Culture Foundation, 2001
  • ”The History of Japanese Photography”, Anne Wilkes Tucker, Dana Frs-Hansen II, Dana Friis-Hansen, Kaneko Ryuichi, Takeba Joe, Kotaro Iizawa, Kinoshita Naoyuki, Yale University Press, 2003
  • ”Drawing Surrealism”, Leslie Jones, Isabelle Dervaux, Susan Laxton, Prestel Pub, 2012
  • Japan's Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto (2013); Edited by Judith Keller & Amanda Maddox, with contributions by Kotaro Iizawa, Ryuichi Kaneko, Jonathan Reynolds; published by The J. Paul Getty Museum

...and more.

Books[edit]

  • Nagoya City Art Museum, Supervised by Hiroshi Kamiya and Minako Tsunoda, Edited by Kazuo Yamawaki, Toshihide Yoshida, Katsunori Fukaya, Satoshi Yamada, Joe Takeba, Minako Tsunoda, Akiko Harasawa and Yuko Ito, ”Selected Works from the Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum”, Nagoya City Art Museum, 1998
  • Shigeichi Nagano, Kōtarō Iizawa, and Naoyuki Kinoshita, "Japanese Photographers Vol.15 Kiyoshi Koishi And Avant-garde Photographs", Iwanami Shoten, Publishers, 1999
  • John Solt, ”Shredding the Tapestry of Meaning — The Poetry and Poetics of Kitasono Katsue (1901-1978) “, Harvard University Press, 1999
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, “328 Outstanding Japanese Photographers”, Tankosha, 2000
  • John Solt(Tarnslator: Tetsuya Taguchi)Edited by: Shūji Takashina, Takayuki Kojima, Ryōsuke Ōhashi, Yuko Tanaka, Noriko Hashimoto, 'On Kansuke Yamamoto', "The Aesthetics of Japan", Vol.35, Toei-sha,2002
  • Kazumiki Chiba, ‘YAMAMOTO Kansuke : Conveyor of the Impossible’,“Exhibition Catalogues in the Age of Cross — Cultural and Cross-Genre Studies”, Edited by Eiko Imahashi, 2003
  • Kotaro Iizawa, “From Eyes to Eyes, Walking Through Photo Exhibitions, 2001-2003”, Misuzu Shobo, 2004
  • Tetsuya Taguchi, "World of Kansuke Yamamoto, A World-class Photographer", Doshisha, 2005
  • Satomi Fujimura, “An Introduction to the History of Photography, Section Two: CREATION, The Opening of Modern Age”, Shinchosha, 2005
  • Teruo Ishihara, “RAVINE — Poem & Prose Little Anthology”, Silver Paper Pub. Kyoto, 2011
  • Kotaro Iizawa, Nobuo Ina, John Szarkowski and Etsuro Ishihara, "The Tales of Syashin (the first volume):Words by Japanese Photographers 1889-1989", aurastudio, 2012
  • Kotaro Iizawa, ”Deep Insight! 100 Super Masterpieces of Japanese Photographs”, Pie Books, 2012
  • Majella Munro, "Communicating Vessels: The Surrealist Movement in Japan 1925-70”, Enzo Arts and Publishing Limited, 2012
  • Nobuzo Kinoshita, "The Lives of Prodigy of Tokai", Edited by Shoko Komatsu, Fubaisha, 2013

Articles[edit]

Videos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Japan's Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto (2013); Edited by Judith Keller & Amanda Maddox, with contributions by Kotaro Iizawa, Ryuichi Kaneko, Jonathan Reynolds; published by The J. Paul Getty Museum

External links[edit]