From April 17 to May 24, 2014, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Sleeping Beauty, the solo exhibition of Yojiro Imasaka’s photography. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014, from 6pm to 8pm.
Consisting of over twenty color and black-and-white photographs, Sleeping Beauty is a selection from a larger body of work by Imasaka, who documented his two-month road trip across the United States. This exhibition presents a mix of his smaller 35mm film prints and his larger prints using a classic Deardorff 8 x10" large format camera. Imasaka alters “fast” and “slow” image-making techniques in response to the multi-faceted American scenery he observed.
In the summer of 2013 - traveling alone by car with camping equipment - Imasaka began his northern route in Maine, passed through the Midwest, then made his way across the Rocky Mountains to the west coast. He returned east by way of the southwest and Appalachia, ending in upstate New York, where his American wanderings first began. Although unreservedly quiet in its conventionality, Imasaka’s diverse American landscape gradually reveals hidden wonders just below the surface.
With the 35mm film, Imasaka shot numerous roadside sceneries that resulted in the dozen postcard-sized color images in this exhibition. Deceivingly underwhelming and often vague and patchy, the group of small landscapes invites our scrutiny of what constitutes a vast part of the American landscape to be played against common perception. Imasaka makes a striking contrast with the series of larger, spatially complex images in his exhibition. An abandoned trailer in an expansive grass field or a dilapidated barn in a rampant forest - spotted often on off-road trails - are unremarkable at a first glance. And yet, their decays and remains suggest the furtive footprint of humanity reclaimed by the surrounding nature.
The superficially ordinary scenes in Imasaka’s Sleeping Beauty decelerate our hectic plugged-in life, and let us become immersed in a mysteriously physical and emotional space.
A monograph of the artist’s larger body of work, Untitled Scapes of America (USA), is being published and presented in conjunction with this exhibition. Russet Lederman, a writer and photobook collector, contributes her essay to this publication, and writes: “Imasaka instinctively understands the power of suggestion and masterfully uses it to reveal the shadows of people who have just passed through his frame or are still present at its periphery.”
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Yojiro Imasaka lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA in photography at Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo, and went on to study at New York’s Pratt Institute from which he earned an MFA in 2010. Imasaka’s work has been exhibited in North America, Asia and Europe, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Tokyo), ISE Cultural Foundation Gallery (New York), Gymnasia Herzliya (Tel Aviv), Recycleart (Brussels), ITS#Four / International Talent Support (Trieste), and VT Artsalon (Taipei). Solo exhibitions were held at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York)’s project space in 2011, FOUR 11 Gallery (Brooklyn) and Chelsea West Gallery (New York) both in 2010, and NUCA Gallery (Tokyo) in 2007.