Thinking about family portraits, I remembered the mouldy films. I took out the disposable cameras, which had been lying ignored for a long time in my closet. The cameras were so mouldy that I decided to remove the films and to take them to a photo-finishing store.
There were 15 films in total. As my hands laboriously took the film out of the cameras, I wondered what kind of events were captured by those cameras. They might not be that old. Or, perhaps they were old. It got me excited as it felt each film cartridge was a time capsule. It seemed to be a lot of money to develop them all, so I took only two films to the ship each month. It would take half a year. Resisting an urge to develop them all at once, and telling myself not to rush, I suddenly recalled that my family had once been evicted from our house. It was when I was in the Third Grade of elementary school. We were kicked out of our house and six of us lived in a car. Without moving into a new house, I was taken to an orphanage. I have the album from those days, which means, then, so too these films. What we brought from the house on eviction were just a portable gas stove, the school bags, and some clothes, oh, and the album too, I heard that was a request by my dad. Hm, I now see what kind of father my dad was.
In a plastic bag from a grocery store there were two sheets of paper alongside the mouldy cameras, which turned out to be payment slips dated June and July of 2000. The amount of my salary for June was barely more than 60,000 Yen. Hmm? That sounds too little doesn’t it? But as I recalled, I realised it could be right, since it was around the time of summer holidays 16 years ago, when I was taken from the orphanage to my current home.

— statement by the artist

Artist Profile

Masaki YAMAMOTO

Born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan in 1989, Yamamoto graduated from Japan Institute of Photography and Film in 2012. He received the Annual Jun Miki Award at the Nikon Salon Juna 21 Exhibition in 2015 and the Editor’s Photo Award ZOOMS JAPAN in 2016. In the same year, Yamamoto took part in the group exhibition “Three and Eight” at Zen Foto Gallery and published an accordion-fold poster for the exhibition with the gallery. In 2017, he had his solo exhibition at Mind’s Eye - Adrian Bondy Gallery, Paris and his first photobook “GUTS” was published with Zen Foto Gallery. Yamamoto’s works are collected by Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.

Gallery Exhibitions