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Animal Spirit

April 3, 2024 to April 27, 2024



PDX CONTEMPORARY ART is pleased to present Animal Spirit, an exhibition of silver gelatin prints by Japanese photographer Yamamoto Masao.

Trained as a painter before turning to photography, Yamamoto Masao is most known for his small-scale, poetic, and intimate photographs, which he treats more like individual objects than editioned prints. Over his career, Yamamoto has worked in series, thematically grouping photographs to make distinct bodies of work, creating images that are independent of one another but at the same time part of a collective. Through an accumulation of images the work becomes a meditation on familiarity, knowing, and the passage of time.

Animal Spirit pulls from his most recent body of work La Vie Simple, as well as from his series Box of Ku, Nakazora, and KAWA=FLOW. The exhibition focuses on animal imagery, showcasing Yamamoto’s continued interest in the natural world and animal kingdom—goats scaling a wooded hillside, inquisitive garden dogs, majestic white horses, and human beings in serene landscape. Yamamoto’s subjects are familiar and imbued with an intimacy that can make them seem like they could be from one’s own memories. They are often mysterious and in soft focus or dramatically high/low contrast, toned and delicately flecked with gold paint or marked with small inclusions ink. The treatment of the printed image has a transcendent effect that leaves each piece resonating with gentle importance.