Ayaka Yamamoto was born in 1983 in Kobe, where she lives and works today. She began studying painting in college, but she gradually moved towards performance and video art, both of which she produced using her body. In 2004, while studying abroad in San Francisco, she started taking photographs. In the middle of a situation in which communication through words was difficult, photography took on a value beyond its essential nature, serving as a point of contact with many other people. Since then, Yamamoto has continued to take extremely fascinating portraits which generate an unusual atmosphere. Yamamoto describes the settings of these portraits in the following way: “I choose to photograph places that I cannot imagine, even from the images that have accumulated under my eyelids, and where the languages and things I already know have no value.” In 2009, she traveled to Finland and Estonia, and later went to Estonia (2010), Latvia (2011, 2012) and France (2012, 2013) to realize her works.

Yamamoto prepares all of the outfits for her shooting only after she arrives at her destination. Since all of her photographs are made with natural light, Yamamoto always picks locations outside of major cities. Her subjects and settings are also selected entirely on location, through communication with the people who live there. Rather than communicating with words, Yamamoto uses gestures and sounds to pick settings and outfits together with her subjects. Certainly, by taking a photograph of a person without their normal clothes, the photographs take on something of a timeless, stateless air. After going through so many steps of the shooting process together, though, it would be difficult to say precisely to whom these images belong. The nameless subjects existing in these photographs cannot easily become the property of the audience, much less the photographer: they resist such direct connections. Through this unstable relationship, Yamamoto richly awakens the possibilities of photography.


2006 Graduated from Kyoto Seika University B.A Fine Art Oil Painting Major , Kyoto
2004 Exchange Program at California College of the Arts , San Francisco


2014 "Nous n’irons plus au bois" Taka Ishii Gallery P/F
2012 "amnion" Published from Libro Arte (Tokyo)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2014 "Nous n’irons plus au bois" Taka Ishii Gallery P/F
2012 "Nous n'irons plus au bois" CAP STUDIO Y3 , Kobe

Selected Group Exhibitions

2013 Inaugural Exihibition"Japanese Photography:postwar-present"Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film
2013 "Encounters of young international photography"Moulin du Roc,Niort,France
2013 "Paris Photo LA 2013" Los Angeles,USA
2013 "Exhibition of Higashikawa Portifolio Audition Winners"Yokohama Photo Festival,Kanagawa
2012 "No found photo fair" Paris, France
2012 "TOKYO PHOTO" Tokyo
2012 "ISSP FINAL Exhibition" Kuldiga ,Latvia
2011 "Gala Exhibition" Goethe Institute ,Riga
2011 "tri-angle" Kimura corporation ,Osaka
2011 "Higashikawa International Photo Festival Independent Exhibition ,Hokkaido
2010 "Beyond the image" Gallery Fleur ,Kyoto
2007 "New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition 2006" ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka
2006 New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition 2006 Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
2004 California College of the Arts student show East Galleries , San Francisco


2012 The Co-Grand Prize , Portfolio Audition / Higashikawa Photo Festival
2006 Honorable mention selected by ARAKI Nobuyoshi / New Cosmos of Photography

Books from Ayaka YAMAMOTO

Sha Shin Magazine Vol. 5: Faces

Shingo KANAGAWA, RYU Ika, Shinya ARIMOTO , Risaku SUZUKI, Haruto HOSHI, Ayaka YAMAMOTO, Takuma NAKAHIRA , Yasumasa MORIMURA, Kotaro IIZAWA


Prints from Ayaka YAMAMOTO