The Second Stage at GG #35
“The Second Stage at GG” is a series of exhibitions presenting more recent works by former finalists in the gallery’s open competitions launched to promote budding artists in various fields. The works shown in “The Second Stage at GG” exhibitions are all created after these artists entered their respective fields as professionals. The series features works by finalists in the original “Hitotsubo” competitions that ran from 1992 to 2008 or in the superseding “1_WALL” competitions started in 2009.
The 35th exhibition in “The Second Stage at GG” series introduces the works of photographer Isamu Sakamoto, who was a finalist in the 27th “Hitotsubo” Photography Competition in 2006 with his entry “Where the Heck is India!!” Throughout the intervening time Sakamoto has continued to photograph and create spurred forward by the “urges” that brim over from within the depths of his soul. “Every photograph I take is to me what India was to Xuanzang*, who kept walking, step after step, toward India, not knowing where it was.” Sakamoto wants to photograph every place and every phenomenon to be found in the world, inspiring him to take up and work with subjects of all descriptions. In doing so, however, he doesn’t merely seek out stimulating visual experiences; rather, he searches to discover what he has never seen before in the casual expression of a close friend or in familiar scenery. What this is perhaps, to put it in different terms, is the kind of happiness Sakamoto himself spins from his thoughts and connections with others. “Everybody, I think, is aiming for his own India in his or her way,” he says. Through photography Sakamoto is walking toward his individual India. To find out where his journey has taken him so far, please come to his exhibition and see.
* Xuanzang was a Chinese Buddhist monk and scholar who, in the 7th century, set out for India on a quest for the “true” Buddhist scriptures.
Born in Osaka in 1979. He attended the College of Art of Nihon University, majoring in photography, then studied under photographer Hajime Honda until he went freelance. He is currently living in Tokyo, very active (or so he hopes!) in the fields of editorial and commercial photography. Having grown up with the monkeys in the mountains of Mino, today Sakamoto’s living in the big city:Tokyo. He likes to think of himself as Yuji Oda, the handsome and popular actor. In high school he was fast in long-distance running and had a loud voice. His mother was husky-voiced. We often went to Mister Donut’s together, and to take photographs in the mountains of Mino, too. The electricity, water and gas were often cut off in his house for failing to pay their bills. After graduating from high school, Sakamoto traveled by himself to India. When he worked as an assistant on a photo shoot of Hitomi Yaida, the singer who went to the same high school one year his senior, he was given the nickname “Mino High.” (Biography details as provided by Y, a friend of Sakamoto)
2010 Yusuke Sakumura’s Monthly Blog Award
2008 “PhotoGRAPHICA Prize”, Shiogama Photo Festival
2006 Finalist in 27th “Hitotsubo” Photography Competition, Guardian Garden gallery, Tokyo
2010 “Grand retrospective of Isamu Sakamoto” Kaigandouri gallery, CASO, Osaka
“Daylight Jazz” Art center On Going, Tokyo