Vol. 1 YOJIRO IMASAKA in Conversation with Hai Zhang, April 19, 2020

Enjoy this conversation between these two artists as YOJIRO IMASAKA virtually invites HAI ZHANG to his darkroom and studio space in Brooklyn, New York. Yojiro shares his art-making process and feelings about the current crisis and confinement.

Guest comments by HAI ZHANG

"Being confined at home makes me wonder what other artists are doing right now. Yojiro is one of the artists I admire, especially for his work shot in upstate New York and on the Louisiana Bayou. During the PAUSE, I thought he might have wanted to shoot the empty city. Instead, he's spent a lot of time reading and researching for his next project. He also explained that the slow and complicated toning process he uses for large prints calms him down. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been in the countryside rich in nature, so I was inspired by his statement that 'nature existed long before humans and will exist long after humans.' Yoji said he likes writing letters rather than emails and video chats and enjoys writing slowly, thinking about the person he is writing to, just like when he makes his work."

YOJIRO IMASAKA (b. 1983, Hiroshima, Japan)

Yojiro Imasaka earned MFA from Pratt Institute, New York in 2010. For his work, he spends hours in nature--dense woodlands and riverbanks or dunes---observing subtle changes in the primeval scenery. After days of monitoring climate variations, he employs a classic 8 x 10 camera to capture highly-detailed images on a large negative. In the darkroom, he performs delicate toning and other alterations that create a distinctive custom hue. Like an Impressionist, Imasaka’s work reinterprets nature, extracting a final glow from its increasingly eroded state. His notable projects include Blue Bayou (2016) on Louisiana Bayou, Trade Winds (2017/2018) on the Island of Maui and Illuminating Earth (2019/2020) on Japan. Imasaka's work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in the permanent collection of Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis), Mead Art Museum (Amherst), San José Museum of Art (San José), and Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh). He lives and works in New York with his wife Eiko and furry friends, Tanuki and Vivi.

Blue Bayou 11, 2016 © Yojiro Imasaka
Blue Bayou 37, 2016 © Yojiro Imasaka