Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present Tsutomu Yamagata’s photography exhibition “My Little Cosmos” from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 23, 2024. Following his previous work Surveillance, published by Zen Foto Gallery in 2018, “My Little Cosmos” is the latest work by the talented photographic artist whose approach changes with each new series he presents. The publication “My Little Cosmos” was released last fall as an ambitious collection of collages in which Yamagata attempted to recreate the scenes that appeared in his dreams by collaging his own work and cut-outs of old books, magazines and newspapers when he was stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. To commemorate the publication, the exhibition will feature about 20 selected works, including new works that have not been published, and Yamagata will be doing live collage performances at the gallery on Fridays and Saturdays during the exhibition.
“I holed up in my room during the pandemic that began in 2020 — I spent a long, depressing time surrounded by old books, magazines, and newspapers I had collected, and photos I had taken in the past. I became drowsy as I looked at the large volume of documents. The images began to intertwine with the strange scenes that had often appeared in my dreams since childhood: sometimes, wrinkled lumps of flesh and parts of the human body slowly approach me as they deform; sometimes, I am left alone in a vast, pitch-dark space; sometimes, animals with extremely long legs appeared from afar, and their body immediately sinks into the growing crowds of human faces and lumps of something unknown. I don’t know what these dreams mean — they make me feel a bit scared and anxious, but they are not nightmares. It must be the cosmos within me that creates and moves me. Attempting to recreate my dreams, I stared at the fragments of paper scattered around my room, cut them out with scissors and glued them together. This process calmed my anxiety and opened my mind to the outside world.” —— Tsutomu Yamagata

Artist Profile


Born in Tokyo in 1966. Graduated from Department of Law, Keio University. He is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society and the Photographic Society of Japan. His major solo exhibitions so far include “My Little Cosmos” at Zen Foto Gallery, 2024, as well as “SURVEILLANCE” at Zen Foto Gallery, 2019, “Ten Disciples” at Zen Foto Gallery, 2016 and gallery 176, 2017, “Thirteen Orphans” at Zen Foto Gallery, 2012 and Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 2013. His main publications include Thirteen Orphans (New Edition by Case Publishing & Zen Foto Gallery, 2017), Ten Disciples (Zen Foto Gallery, 2016), Thirteen Orphans (Zen Foto Gallery, 2012), and Bulgarian Rose (Private edition, 2011). Yamagata participated in the group exhibition “Pale Red Dot” at Athens Photo Festival in 2018. His works are included in the collections of University of New Mexico Art Museum, USA and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai.

Publications & Prints