Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to host the photography exhibition ‘DHAKA’ by Michio Yamauchi from 17 to 28 October, presenting 26 colour and monochrome works selected from the photo book DHAKA published by Tokyo Kirara-sha.

Michio Yamauchi was born in 1950. He started to worked as an advertising agent after graduating from Waseda University. After quitting this job, he entered a school of journalism, and worked as a journalist for weekly magazines. It was not until he entered the Tokyo Shashin School (current Tokyo Visual Arts) aged nearly 30, he became more earnest about photography. Soon after Yamauchi graduated from Tokyo Shashin School in 1982, he joined the independent gallery CAMP, and became a pupil of Daido Moriyama. Since then, he has been active as a freelance photographer, and published several series of works taken in Tokyo at CAMP and works taken for photography magazines.

In the eighties, his published works concentrated on Tokyo, but in the nineties, he travelled to photograph in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kolkata and Waikiki. Entering the 2000s, he travelled to Keelung (Taiwan) and Dhaka. His focus has shifted to photographing the metropolises of Asia. Yamauchi is concerned with the people and the streets. When he is roaming a foreign city where he does not speak the language, he tries to become identified with aspects hitherto unknown to him. Usually he would spend several months or half a year staying in a city. He adapts and blends in to a relation with various facets of the streets and the local people. The sense of distance between himself and the subjects is a splendid feature of his photography.

Dhaka, the metropolis of Bangladesh. The Himalayan meltwater has eroded the land, and those who lost their homes have gathered in this lively metropolis. Even young children have to work for the sustenance of life. A city overflowing with life, Dhaka.

ーMichio Yamauchi

When Yamauchi visited Dhaka in 2013, he ran out of the monochrome films he brought with him. However, by chance he was able to acquire some colour negative films, and developed the films locally. The handling of the negatives in the local shop was sloppy and, due to the high humidity in rainy season, the negatives could not properly dry, resulting in an imperfect development. Yamauchi made prints without correcting those imperfections. This roughness contributes to the vitality of Dhaka that is vividly illustrated in his photographs.

Artist Profile


Michio Yamauchi was born in 1950 in Aichi Prefecture. He graduated from the Second Literary Department (no longer extant) of Waseda University. In 1980, he started night school at the Tokyo School of Photography (currently Tokyo Visual Arts School). In 1982, he graduated from the Tokyo School of Photography and took part in an independent gallery known as Image Shop CAMP, and began showing photographs in photography magazines and independent galleries. Since 1992, he has shot not only in Tokyo, but also in other major Asian cities including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dhaka. His solo exhibitions include “Tokyo 1983.2.-1986.2.,” Olympus Gallery (Tokyo, 1986); “TOKYO, Tokyo,” Ginza Nikon Salon (Tokyo, 2002); “CALCUTTA,” Konica Minolta Photo Plaza (Tokyo, 2004); “Tokyo 2009.12.,” Third District Gallery (Tokyo, 2010); “Hong Kong 1995-1997,” ZEN FOTO GALLERY (Tokyo, 2016). His publications include Hito-e (Place M, 1992); Stadt (Sokyusha, 1992); TOKYO 2005-2007 (Sokyusha, 2008); Keelung (grafica, 2010). He is the recipient of the 20th Tadahiko Hayashi Award (for “Keelung,” 2011) and the 35th Domon Ken Award (for “Dhaka 2,” fiscal 2015). His photographs are included in the collections of The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo and Shunan City Museum of Art and History, Yamaguchi.

Publications & Prints