Stieglitz 19

Daisuke Yokota

Taratine

Taratine, the most personal of his publications so far, which is based around the taratine gingko tree found in Japan’s Aoyama prefecture.

The first thing you notice about Daisuke Yokota’s photographs is their texture. It might be the coarse grain of the film or the dust and hairs strewn across its surface. The emulsion itself often appears to have been pushed to breaking point: cracks, blisters, and burns proliferate creating a surprising sense of depth and tactility.

Yokota pulls his creations apart, exposing layer after layer of their composite parts, and drawing our attention to the fact that we are looking at a photograph and not an image. His interventions are akin to a photographic open-heart surgery, revealing the complexity and fragility of a photograph by deconstructing its anatomy.

One cannot help but make the link with the now legendary generation of photographers who came of age in late 1960s Japan. The gritty materiality of his work resonates with that of past masters such as Daido Moriyama or Takuma Nakahira. But beyond an undeniable aesthetic kinship, what brings Yokota closest to these pioneers are his tireless attempts to create a new photographic language.