Kansuke Yamamoto

Yamamoto offers a way of using poetic writing and image together.  Yamamoto was a photographer and a poet and linked both together in his often surrealist images. The online article by John Salt, referenced below, offered insights into his context as a leading advocate of surrealism and his contribution as founder and active member of most of Tokyo’s post war photography groups.  His work is an embodiment of the idea that photography is the most ‘surreal’ of all mediums. The formal nature of his Japanese script becomes part of the composition of the work.


Article by John Solt

‘In 1958, Katue reiterated his long-held position: “Poetry is the passport to all the arts. Anyone who wants to do something in the art world must grasp his own ‘poesy.’ All the arts are nothing but a variation of poetry; in that sense it is meaningless to call photography easier than poetry or the novel more difficult than poetry.” [VOU, no. 61 (May 1958): 27.]’

Yamamoto Kansuke: Conveyor of the Impossible

he saw through the prism
of his one cracked eye

and took us behind a mirror
merging dreams with non-dreams

his collages of positives and negatives
glimpse the world of ghosts

boats float along underwater breasts
the sun eye sets on the horizon

his swirling face with umbrella in hand
in a rain-soaked room in underwear

day by day incrementally
he unraveled illusions

a bed hangs in the sky like a cloud
inviting us to roll over and awaken


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