STUX Gallery is pleased to host the book launch for the recent publication of Gyahtei: Manabu Yamanaka Photographs published by Pot Publishing of Japan. In conjunction with the book launch and book signing, STUX Gallery will exhibit one representative image of each of the six series of Yamanaka’s work from September 10th until October 17th.
The book details a compilation of six series of photographs (Arakan, Fujohkan, Gyahtei, Dohshi, Jyoudo, and Wukong Mang Mang Ran) that represent Manabu Yamanaka’s photographic work over the past twenty five years. The photographs show compelling oversize, black and white images of people and animals that reflect Yamanaka’s personal faith in Buddhism. The images reference Buddhist beliefs in the inherent beauty of life and its transient nature. In a photo world, where digital manipulation is so widespread, especially when images challenge conventional ideas of representation, it is noteworthy that none of Yamanaka’s photographs are manipulated in any way despite any expectations to the contrary. All of his works are totally faithful to the physical identity of the subject matter. A foreword by Patricia J. Graham explains the Buddhist references in his images.
Artist Statement: My Buddhist beliefs began during my childhood in the Osaka suburb of Amagasaki, a deeply Buddhist neighborhood inhabited by large numbers of factory laborers. There, Buddhist festivals served as a community focal point and helped to strengthen the faith of local residents. When I was small, I was injured in a serious traffic accident, which put me in the hospital, wavering between life and death for 10 days. But fortunately, quite miraculously, I survived. Meanwhile, I found that my beloved pet dog had died in my stead. So, after having received a second lease on life, I felt myself increasingly drawn to Buddhism, and turned my energies to the creation of Buddhist-influenced art through the medium of photography. Therefore I decided to pursue my own style. In Tokyo in 1989, I had my first art exhibition, featuring my “Arakan” series.