Yukihito Masuura first became enchanted by photography at the age of twelve. Having moved to France when he was eighteen, he soon became an assistant to Guy Bourdin for Vogue Paris. In his quest for creative and spiritual perfection, he was drawn to Buddhist sculpture and the masterworks of Western artists like Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), and Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564).
This exhibition introduces some of Yukihito Masuura’s works in his eight-year quest to capture Michelangelo’s sculptural oeuvre and the bronze works of Rodin and Bourdelle. Masuura has also documented the ceremonial practices of Sengu in Japan, such as the restoration of Japan’s most revered Shinto locations: Ise Jingu and Izumo Taisha. The events only occur at twenty- and sixty-year intervals respectively. Masuura skilfully captured the divine essence through the climactic Senzasai ceremonies at Ise and Izumo, which both took place in 2013. The Christian and Shinto images exhibited here explore the relationship between religion and art and the cultural differences between Japan and the West.
“The art of sculpture photography is to let the sculpture speak. My photography made Bourdelle’s works move and Rodin’s spin. In retrospect the crying agony of the images might have been a reflection of my personal struggles around that time. I used only my camera and natural light in dark churches. When I had almost given up hope, the light played a miracle each time and produced three providential works. Through photography I discovered the existence of the ‘Invisible World’. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to record Sengu shrine restoration and ceremonies – a culture symbolising Japanese spirituality. This exhibition is to express my wishes for a peaceful world.”
- Yukihito Masuura
Private View: 6-8pm, 5 March 2015
Artist Talk: 7 pm, 5 March 2015
*Yukihito Masuura’s artist talk will take place at 7pm on the same evening. To book your place in the lecture room, please visit www.dajf.org.uk/events/booking-form and select ‘artist talk’.
5 March - 16 April 2015
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP UK