Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present "Ten Disciples", a solo exhibition of new works by Tsutomu Yamagata from Dec 17 to Feb 4, 2017. Four years since Yamagata's previous solo presentation at Zen Foto Gallery, this exhibition features a selection of approximately 25 works from his latest series. The exhibition will be held in two parts. The first exhibition will be Dec 17 to 24 in 2016 and the second exhibition will be Jan 10 to Feb 4 in 2017. We will change the layout of exhibition and a part of the selection of works. We hope to present you each of its view of the world by different ways of display.
I had a child at an age far older than the age at which my parents had me. My son is my second generation. Around the same time, my aged father was diagnosed with cancer. Searching for alternative medical treatments, I learned of a remote valley in northern Japan where cancer patients go. The rocks in this valley emit intense radiation and boiling water flows in the river. In between rising columns of smoke I could discern recumbent human forms dotted around the mountainside. On first viewing I was reminded of a painting of Nirvana, the supreme enlightenment. The painting, where Buddha lay in the center of ten great disciples, depicts the final stage, where all Bonno (earthly desires) have entirely disappeared.
Looking at these people from whom all layers of protection and pretence had been peeled away, I perceived neither distress nor impatience. Even awareness of gender had faded away, and I sensed their hope in preparation for the world of peace and recurring life. I started to frequent this valley, which exists for me spiritually on a higher plane. There, I wander about, sit on a jagged rock, catch my breath, and think about my father and my little son.