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Yasuhiro Ishimoto Dies at 90

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
A Legend in His Own Time

The Japanese-American photographer, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a photographer on both sides of the Pacific.
Born to Japanese-American farmers in San Francisco in 1921 Ishimoto spent his life between the United States and Japan. At age three his family returned to Japan. Ishimoto was raised in Kochi City, and followed in his parent's footsteps, graduating from an Agricultural High School. In 1939 he returned to the United States to study agriculture at the University of California and continued onto Chicago where began his artistic path. Ishimoto first studied architecture at Northwestern University, though he did not complete this degree architecture remained an important topic in his work and influence on his composition.

From 1942-1944 Ishimoto was held in an internment camp alongside other Japanese Americans; it was here he began to engage photography and learn the photographic process. In 1946 Ishimoto flirted further with the media and joined an amateur photographer club, Photo Dearborn. Two years later, in 1948, he met Harry Shigeta and began to pursue the media seriously; the same year he enrolled in the Institute of Design where he studied with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Gordon Coster. In his time as a student and after Ishimoto captured the world around him. While in Chicago the city became a favorite theme. From boldly constructed frames- the people, the architecture, the cars to the quiet and simple- the trace and fragment of humanity and nature Ishimoto took everything in. Though he returned to Japan in 1961 Ishimoto gave tribute to the city he had called home in his first publication, Chicago, Chicago, published in 1969.

Ishimoto continued to photograph, publish, exhibit, and teach photography with great note and recognition in the United States, Japan, and beyond. Significant accomplishments are many, some include: two Moholy-Nagy Prizes; Edward Steichen selections to exhibit at MoMA; a solo shows at the Art Institute of Chicago; a retrospective at Seibu Museum of Art in Tokyo; a Minolta fellowship; and the title Man of Cultural Distinction by the Japanese government.

Ishimoto passed away this week, February 6, 2012.

For further information on this story please visit The Mainichi Daily News

Yasuhiro Ishimoto's work is represented by aipad member Stephen Daiter Gallery in Chicago. For further information on the artist and his work please contact the Stephen Daiter Gallery

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